20,000 Leagues Under The Sea*, inspired by the famous Jules Verne novel, was the far-and-away winner of the People’s Choice award at JHS’s 12th Annual Gingerbread House Extravaganza, which concluded December 23, 2014. This was the vote cast by people who attended the Extravaganza and were asked to select their favorite gingerbread house/creation.
Built by EJ McIntyre, this extraordinarily detailed and imaginative creation depicts Captain Nemo’s ship, the Nautilus, under attack from a giant octopus. EJ’s creation was constructed of gingerbread, isomalt (sugar) and hand-painted fondant, which EJ cut into precise shapes. The beautfully rendered Nautilus, and the gorgeous fondant air balloon (sporting an ostrich motif that hearkened back to Jacksonville’s 19th-century ostrich farms), rewarded the careful observer with endless imaginative surprises.
The next five vote getters for the People’s Choice award were: 2) Frozen (Blue), 3) Cinderella’s Castle, 4) Madeline, 5) Christmas in Bethlehem, and 6) Quiltmaker’s Gift. Quiltmaker’s Gift also took home the Best in Show award.
Thank you to everyone who came out and supported the Gingerbread House Extravaganza. We hope you’re inspired to build your gingerbread creation for next year’s show!
*A fun fact: The title of Verne’s iconic science fiction novel refers to the distance travelled while under the sea, and not to a depth, as 20,000 leagues is over six times the diameter of the earth.
Here is a list of all the show’s judged winners. We are so grateful for their participation! (Bolded names also won People’s Choice recognition.)
- Best In Show: “The Quiltmaker’s Gift” by Sara Aicher
- Best Traditional: “The Spirit of Christmas” by Gilmon’s Bakery
- Best Fantasy: “Frozen” by Denise Hyrne, Paula, Sophia, Elsa, and Ava
- Best Local Historic: “The Ribault Monument” by St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School, Teacher Drew Haramis
- Best Landmark: “The Original Terracotta Warriors” by the McInall Family
- Best Local Institution: “Merry Croak-Mas” by Jennifer Harris with the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens
- Best Religious: “Silent Night at San Jose Episcopal” by San Jose Episcopal Church and Day School
- Best Creative: “Tribute to Jules Vern” by EJ McIntyre
- Best Storybook: “Hansel and Gretel” by Karin Jackson
- Best Youth: “Sweet 16” by Lauren Dunn
- Best Family: “Over the River and Through the Woods” by The Ginder Family
- Best Village: “Holiday Hounds” by Jennifer Pochurek, Francine Shell, Kristin Hillen, Molly Curry, Heather Hodgett, Kat Davis, and Kate Davis
- Best First Time Builder: CO-WINNERS “Birds of a Feather” by the Longtime Newcomers of the Beaches AND “Santa in the Big Apple” by Aniko Beall, Gabriel Oyler and Heather Oyler
- Best Technical: “Hogwarts” by Let Them Eat Cake Bakery
- Best Whimsical: “Snowman’s Christmas” by Roxanne and Alex Rodgers