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Sweet! Somers Gingerbread Contest Winners Get To Show Off Baking Skills

"History in my Backyard," is the theme of this year's gingerbread festival being hosted by the Somers Historical Society. Photo Credit: Somers Historical Society
One of the houses in last year's gingerbread decorating contest sported pretzels for walls, candy for chimney stones and lighted windows. Photo Credit: Somers Historical Society

SOMERS, N.Y. -- Gingerbread fans, if you bake, bake as fast as you can, you may be able to display your frosted cookie creations during the holidays at the Somers Library and the Elephant Hotel.

The local historical society says entries in its annual festival’s gingerbread decorating contest must be received by Saturday, Dec. 3.

The festival takes place from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec 4, and Saturday, Dec.10 at the Wright Reis Homestead on Route 139.

Votes will be collected by the end of fest and winners notified the following day. All other entries must be taken home Sunday afternoon. The pick-up time is 4 p.m.

This year's theme is “History in My Backyard.”

The gingerbread decoration or house must be made with food materials, affixed to a base no larger than 12 by 12 inches and include the number 60 somewhere on it.

(It's the historical society’s 60th anniversary this year.)

Entries must be delivered to the Wright Reis Homestead, between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.

Anyone who is unable to deliver the goodies at that time, can email Grace Zimmermann at to make other delivery arrangements.

Entry forms are available online at, in the historical society’s offices on the third floor of the Elephant Hotel, or in the library’s Jean Reidy Children's Room.

The entry fee is a non-perishable food item that will be donated to the Somers Food Pantry at St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

The library is lending a hand to the effort by offering a drop-in gingerbread house decorating day from 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28.

Gingerbread, icing and decorations will be supplied. While there, folks can check out gingerbread-themed books and pick up a few recipes.

These are the categories:

  • Adult: Age 18 and over. (Single entrant)
  • Youth/Teen: Ages 11 to 17, entering as individual or part of a team.
  • Child: Age 5 to 10, entering as individual or part of a team.

There will be one “People’s Choice” award in each category and one overall “Pastry Chef” Award.

Winning entries will be displayed at the library and the Elephant Hotel from Dec. 12 through Dec. 30.

In the event of inclement weather, Gingerbread Festival 2016 will follow the same schedule as the town’s Holiday Tree Lighting Festivities.

The library is in Reis Park off Route 139, but its address for GPS purposes is 82 Primrose St., Katonah.

The Elephant Hotel, an historic landmark site, was built in the early 1800s by Hachaliah Bailey, credited with being the father of the American circus. Displayed on a monument outside the building is a likeness of Old Bet, an elephant that Bailey took on the road as a show. It is at 335 Route 202.

For more information, call (914)- 277-4977 or email: 

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