To alleviate shutdown-induced boredom and loneliness this Christmas, San Benito County 4-H is holding a gingerbread house contest. The submission period runs from Nov. 16-24, and submissions can be made through the RSVP form created for the contest.
Local 4-H All-Stars Meaghan Ricker, Mikayla Wenzlik and Samantha Slykas created the contest.
“For each category and age group we have a first place prize, as well as three different prizes for best of show,” said Ricker, who designed the contest website.
Slykas said, “There’s going to be [prizes for] first place for each of the three divisions, which are ‘Holiday Traditions,’ ‘Open Design’ and ‘4-H Design.’ The winner of each division will receive a medal.”
All submitted entries will be posted to the 4-H website, Ricker said. “We’re hoping we can get the winners to donate their gingerbread houses, and hopefully get some stores in downtown to hold them in their windows for people to see as they walk by for about a week.”
The 4-H All-Stars conceived of the competition as a relief from the isolation of life under lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, Wenzlik said.
“We didn’t have anything that our community or our 4-H was doing, because of all the COVID stuff,” she said. “So we were trying to think of something that everyone could participate in that wouldn’t be an in-person event.”
The three 4-H members began to plan the contest in October, and handed out flyers a few weeks before the submission period.
“I’m looking forward to seeing so many people join because it is really a rough time right now,” Ricker said. “Not a lot of things are happening, and I just want the community to get back together and for kids to be happy again.”
According to Slykas, the gingerbread house contest not only promotes 4-H and makes people aware of the organization’s involvement, but it also gets the community engaged.
“We thought that getting people active to do this virtual event would bring people together,” she said.
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