The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) has just finished the judging for the 8th Annual Pueblo Gingerbread House competition.  We had a chance to visit IPCC earlier this month, and the entries are carefully displayed at the South Rotunda entrance near the Pueblo Harvest Café and Shumakolowa Native Arts museum shop.

As a long time baker, I thought I knew gingerbread houses.  Wow, was I surprised.  Every component of the gingerbread entry must be edible, and the artists were quite creative in constructing pueblos, historic buildings, and other aspects of Native American life in their entries.  Categories were adult and children, and there were dozens of entries in each category.

Each year, it seems as though the artists take lessons and inspiration from prior years, and the complexity and detail escalates even higher.  A pathway of slivered almonds, a pine tree of green modeler’s chocolate with tiny ornaments, a faithfully reproduced pueblo with snow covered roofs and ladders – all elements that combined to create amazing entries.  How the blue-ribbon panel of judges selected winners in the categories is beyond me, as the creativity and elegance of the entries were astounding.

The Isleta Resort and Casino added to the excitement with a People’s Choice Award for both adult and children categories, and those winners will be announced on January 5.  The entries are currently on display, and there is no admission charge to see them, so stop by the IPCC South entrance between now and Sunday, January 8 to see these wonderful gingerbread creations.  While you are there, consider a delicious meal at the Pueblo Harvest Café and a little gift seeking at the Shumakolowa Native Arts museum shop.  And if you are feeling particularly inspired, consider entering this contest next year – entry is free, and contest entry forms are typically available around Thanksgiving.

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