Thursday, November 24, 2016

Savannah Gingerbread House Festival

Gingerbread Houses - Savannah Festival
One of the sweetest things about the holiday season are the delightful (and delicious) Gingerbread Houses on display in numerous places around the world.  Often large hotels, such as the Hyatt Regency and the Westin feature gingerbread house displays in their lobbies from Thanksgiving through New Year's and thousands of visitors come to see them.

Our family went to see our local Gingerbread Village a couple years ago, held at the Westin Hotel. Known as the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort, it is located on Hutchinson Island in the middle of the Savannah River directly across from Savannah, Georgia's famous River Street.

Holiday Houses in Gingerbread

Gingerbread House Railroad Station
The Savannah Gingerbread House Festival has been an annual event in Savannah, Georgia for 16 years.  The gingerbread houses on display at the festival are culinary creations which are part of a competition open to everyone in two divisions (adult ages18 & over, and students, 17 & under).  

Each creation is judged and voted upon the day before the festival opens to the public and prizes awarded. 

Our Savannah Gingerbread Village is sponsored by The Savannah Harbor Foundation, a nonprofit that helps local and regional children's charities.

Savannah Harbor Foundation

The Foundation first began as a response to the tragedy of 9/11 when the General Manager of Westin Savannah Harbor, Mark Spadoni, felt the need to bring some feel-good, family-friendly, uplifting events to the city in the tragedy’s aftermath. Mark and other area business people joined forces to form the Savannah Harbor Foundation which hosts a variety of holiday festivities and other family-oriented events throughout the year.

Some of the Gingerbread Creations Seen on Our Tour...


Old Lady in a Shoe


Gingerbread Golf Cart

Replica of Savannah's Famous 'Olde Pink House' Restaurant
Southern cuisine served in an elegant Colonial mansion

Westin Savannah Harbor Hotel in Gingerbread

One of the largest and most elaborate Gingerbread Houses on display was over 4 feet tall and was a replica of the Westin Savannah Harbor Hotel.

The Rest of the Festival


"Parade of Boats' on the Savannah River
We spent about an hour touring the Gingerbread Village, then went outside on the lawn of the Westin Hotel which faces the Savannah River and from there watched the rest of the evening's activities, the beautifully decorated 'Parade of Boats', which was followed by a fireworks display.  A fun family evening.

Make Your Own Gingerbread House

If you want to make your own Gingerbread House, recipes are available in a number of places online.  Check out a list of various sites here

Gingerbread House Kits

Mini-Village Gingerbread House Kit
If 'starting from scratch' is too time-consuming for you, Gingerbread House kits are available. This kit includes enough gingerbread to make 5 mini houses, including all the candy icing.  Ready to construct and eat. 

Kits come in a large selection of themes from a fancy gingerbread manor house to Christmas houses to ones depicting popular cartoon figures such as the Minions, Peanuts or Spongebob. Whatever your interest, a Gingerbread House kit can be found.

So, grab a kit,  or start with a recipe, and create a Gingerbread House this holiday season!

In what city have YOU seen this sweet Christmas festival of candy-covered creations?

Gingerbread House Day is December 12

(c) Originally published 12/3/2013. Updated 12/11/2018

*All images are personal photographs taken by Wednesday Elf at the Savannah Gingerbread House Festival


  1. What a wonderful way to spend a day! Those gingerbread houses are fantastic! Some people are just so talented and capable of creating such intricate designs. I loved the photo of the parade of boats too. Ending with fireworks was certainly the perfect ending.

    1. It was a delightful event to attend. The images I shared here were only a small part of the many, many gingerbread houses on display.

  2. Wow those are really something. My other half makes Gingerbread houses and they don`t look this good......but they take a lot of time to make. Such talent!

    1. What fun that your hubby makes Gingerbread Houses, Olivia. I've never tried one.

  3. Sounds like a fun tour. I saw a chef-created gingerbread house at a local art exhibition that was a beauty, but I've never made a gingerbread house myself. I've never gotten around to watching the boat parade near anywhere I've lived yet, either. There is always so much to do here during the holiday season, it's hard to choose. It sounds like your festival was an occasion you will store in your happy memory bank.

    1. I've never made one either, Barbara, but it would be fun to try it sometime. :)

  4. I would love to visit a gingerbread house festival - what fun! Every year I tell myself that I'm going to try and make a gingerbread house and yet I never do, I probably know it would be unlikely to look how I imagine it will :)

    1. Mine probably wouldn't turn out as perfect as these either, Louanne. But it might be fun trying. :-)

  5. This sounds like it was fun. I will have to look for something similar here.

    1. It was fun, Paula. Cleveland has one too -- at your Winterfest! :)

  6. Aren't they the best. We used to build them with the kids when they were little. Some of them are completely artistic and stunning.

    1. These gingerbread houses are really stunning to see, Barbara.