A swirl of frosting, dash of sugar and sprinkles of candies spell sweet fun

Children and adults admire the work of sugary artists who created gingerbread homes for a decorating contest sponsored by the Badlands Café. The houses can be seen from the north front window of the diner.

By Kay Braddock

  Whether using tiny candy canes for a front entrance border, jolly ranchers for siding or frosted shredded wheat cereal for roof tiles, local artists are displaying their sugary flair in a gingerbread house contest that is sure to be sweet – for diners and judges alike.

So far two adults and about a dozen children have entered the contest sponsored by Terry’s Badlands Café and Scoop Shoppe.  But café owner, and architect behind the contest, Inger Koppenhaver is quick to point out prospective gingerbread house designers still have time to enter.
“It’s wide open,” Koppenhaver said, noting the deadline to submit a candied domicile ends Dec. 13 at about 7 p.m., following Terry’s Terrific Holiday Feast. 
The café began accepting entries last month after Thanksgiving. Submissions can be made of edible and non-edible material with only one real requirement – the base must be about the size of a shoebox. But by the looks of the entries on display in the north front window of the café, shoe sizes can vary – from about a size 16 to size 3.
Many of the children’s entries came from those who participated in the Terrific Tuesday craft activity, where 4Hers helped youth create graham cracker homes, glued together with frosting and sprinkled with lifesavers and gumdrops among other candies.
Koppenhaver is expecting ardent rivalry from the otherwise amiable group of candy-land creators.
“Other people have stopped in and checked out the competition. We’ve had a lot of interest and we think more are coming,” Koppenhaver said.
Besides earning the top billing as the county’s sweetest homebuilder, winning prizes will include a $30 chamber buck gift certificate. Prizes will be awarded for both children and adult categories. Winners will be announced Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 6 p.m.
While eyeing the row of homes already on display, Koppenhaver confessed, “I’m just glad I’m not the judge.” 
Prairie Unique’s Kathy Galland and former hotel and restaurant manager Lisa Klevguaard will have the unenviable duty of sifting the sweet from the sweetest.
Published Dec. 7, 2011
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