Gingerbread: Under the Sea

2021 Exhibition - Call for Entries!

The Springfield Museums are pleased to announce the Gingerbread: Under the Sea exhibition. In this 12th annual holiday exhibit, visitors will dive into the enchanted waters and journey to the bottom of the sea where fantastical creatures and colorful plants are interpreted as culinary creations!

We invite interested bakeries, schools, organizations, individuals and families to register by Monday, November 8, 2021. Any structure is eligible, whether the design supports the Under the Sea theme, or represents a traditional holiday scene. Gingerbread creations will be on display from November 26, 2021-January 2, 2022 in a large exhibit hall with creative murals, festive decorations, and other enchanting elements.

For questions or additional information, call 413-314-6486 or email

Important Dates

November 8    Final Entry Deadline
November 9    All acceptance notifications sent via email (or within one week of submitting an entry form)
November 22    Gingerbread Delivery Day
November 26    Gingerbread: Under the Sea exhibit opens to the public
January 2    Gingerbread: Under the Sea exhibit closes
January 3    Gingerbread Pick-Up Day

Exhibition Guidelines


Only one (1) gingerbread display per entry form will be accepted. To be eligible for the exhibition, a signed and completed entry form must be received via the website, or by email, fax or mail prior to 5 pm on Monday, November 8, 2021. Gingerbread displays that are not pre-registered will not be accepted.

The Gingerbread: Under the Sea entry form must be signed by the individual entering the competition. If the individual is younger than the age of eighteen (18) by the date of the gingerbread house delivery day, a signature from a parent, legal guardian, or teacher is required.

Entrants will be notified about selection decisions within one week of submitting an entry form (or no later than Tuesday, November 9). Accepted bakers will receive emails with important information about label text that will be displayed next to the gingerbread house, and other updates and instructions.


In the event that you are no longer able to deliver a gingerbread display and must withdraw from the competition, please notify Larissa Murray at 413-314-6486 or


  • Professional Division: Bakeries, Caterers, or Professional Bakers
  • Adult Division: Individual or group adult, age 19 & up
  • Youth Division: Individual or group youth, age 13-18
  • Family Division: Families participating with children, ages 12 and under (Please note: children must participate in the creation of the display.)


All registered participants will receive a festive gift when delivering their gingerbread display on Monday, November 22. Additionally, bakers will receive passes to visit the Springfield Museums during the exhibition.


Voting for the “People’s Choice” designations will take place online, using our mobile guide YOP! Visitors will vote for their favorite gingerbread entry in each division throughout the entire run of the exhibition, Friday, November 26, 2021, through Sunday, January 2, 2022. People’s Choice designees in each division will be posted on the Springfield Museums’ social media channels and our blog:


  1. The entry must be original – no gingerbread kits allowed – and must have been constructed in 2021.
  2. Entries are encouraged to fit into the following thematic areas: 1) a design based on the Under the Sea theme, or 2) a traditional holiday design. The entry does not necessarily have to be in the shape of a traditional “house.” Larger scenes or other types of structures/objects are also allowed, but should not exceed 24 x 24 inches without permission.
  3. The entry’s major components (such as sides, roofs, etc.) must be constructed of gingerbread, not graham crackers, cookies, gingerbread cake, etc. The rest of the display can be decorated with any edible material.
  4. All visible components of the display must be edible. For example, plastic wrapped candies must be unwrapped; any paper or plastic stems of lollipops should be removed or concealed; tin foil bases should be entirely covered with edible materials, etc. Any internal structural support for large gingerbread houses does not have to be edible as long as it is not visible from any angle.
  5. You may add electric lighting and/or motorized movement to your entry. Any light bulbs or wires should be integrated into the display and/or concealed as best as possible. Wired lights with plugs are preferred.
  6. The entry must be delivered in completed form attached to a sturdy base (plywood recommended) enabling it to be freestanding. Bases must be completely concealed with an edible product except for the side edges, which can be trimmed with ribbon or other material.
  7. Participants must register for the exhibition by November 8. Entry forms may be obtained online at, or by emailing All completed gingerbread structures must be delivered to the Museum on Monday, November 22, and will remain on display from November 26-January 2. They may not be picked up earlier than January 3.
  8. The Museums reserve the right to not display an entry considered to be inappropriate or not show quality.


Completed gingerbread structures must be delivered to the Springfield Museums Welcome Center between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm on Monday, November 22. No exceptions. Bakers will be asked to review and edit their exhibit label text when dropping off their gingerbread display.

The location of gingerbread displays in the exhibition hall will be determined by Museum staff. The Springfield Museums cannot be held responsible for any damages incurred to the displays while on the Museums’ property, but staff will take extra precautions to help ensure the safety of each entry.

Entries can be picked up on Monday, January 3 at the Welcome Center between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. Entries not picked up by 5 pm on January 3 will be discarded.