Hollywood & the Holidays
Gingerbread Competition and Exhibit
November 29–December 31, 2019
Springfield Science Museum
The Springfield Museums present the annual gingerbread competition and exhibit, ongoing through December 31 in the Springfield Science Museum. This year the theme is Hollywood & the Holidays!
Amazing, fully edible creations inspired by holiday movies fill the gallery with the wonderful smell of fresh gingerbread and sugary fondant! Created by local baking enthusiasts of all ages, the exhibit has become a much anticipated holiday tradition.
The day after Thanksgiving, eager bakers and awed guests stood by to hear who placed in the People’s Choice awards. All visitors November 29 were invited to vote for their favorites with the awards to be announced at 4 pm. Divisions included Adult, Youth, Family, and Professional. The competition was steep with thirty-nine remarkable houses festooning the Springfield Science Museum. And although only ten houses received well-deserved prizes (provided by Yankee Candle), every single house demonstrated remarkable skill and imagination.
“The creativity represented in this room is astounding,” said Kay Simpson, President and CEO of the Springfield Museums as she waited to hear the results. “The imaginative energy and goodwill is so evident in every one of these creations!”
Before Fran Gagnon, a long-time Museums volunteer and resident of Longmeadow, announced the winners, she shared the history of the exhibit, which is now in its tenth year and was recognized by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism as a prime destination during the holidays. “I still remember when Kay Simpson, who is now President of the Museums, asked me what I thought about a gingerbread competition,” Gagnon said. “I didn’t hesitate for a second to say I thought it was an excellent idea. Honestly each year I think the houses are amazing and could not possibly be improved—and yet they keep getting better and better!”
Gagnon called out the winners names with flourish:
- First Place: Olivia, Donovan, Michelle, and Don Salva with “Nan” Linda Sliech, all of Feeding Hills: “Holiday Movie Night at the El Capitan”
- Second Place: Cheryl Barnhart of Agawam: “A Vintage Christmas”
- Third Place: Tammy Richter of Southwick: “Christmas Medley – A Child’s Christmas Dream”
Youth Division- Ages 13-18:
- First Place: Katie Pasay of Springfield: “Gingerbread Polar Express”
- Second Place: Nora Scott and Zuzanna Hitchcock of Westfield: “Ultimate Hollywood Christmas Party”
- Third Place: Springfield Chapter United Synagogue Youth/Kadima; Temple Beth El in Springfield (youth group): “Chanukkah Winter Wonderland”
- First Place: Katherine & Justinian Alves and Karin & Betsy Johnson of Springfield: “Sparkling Lights of Bright Nights”
- Second Place: Eli and Zachary Arvantely of Northborough: “Star Wars – Holiday Death Destroyer”
- Third Place: 3. Evelyn & Violet Schettler of Longmeadow “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas”
- Chef Eric Hirsh of Mystic, CT: “Showing now, ‘Santa Claus is coming to Town’”
The creativity represented in the gallery is augmented by beautiful painted panels representing movie posters such as White Christmas, Elf, Frozen, and Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. They were designed by Sarah Gogal, Museums Preparator, and painted by her crew of volunteers. Those volunteers include: Dick Butler, Barbara Chiampa, Vance Gagnon, Sandy Gogal, and Ron Hirsch.
Other Holiday Related Programming
Countdown to Christmas
December 7 and December 14, 10 am–5 pm
Get ready for the big day with holiday-themed family activities. Free with museum admission!
Meet Santa, 11 am-2 pm
Bring your Christmas list and your camera to meet Kris Kringle! Meet everyone’s favorite jolly old elf in the Gingerbread: Hollywood and the Holidays exhibit. Every child 12 and under will get to choose a gift, while supplies last.
Santa’s Workshop, 11 am-3 pm
You’re the elf in Santa’s Workshop! Make your own gift to give a special loved one, complete with trimmings including card and gift tag. Options include magnet sets, photos in mosaic frames, and cup lanterns.
Mount Crumpit Derby, 11 am-3 pm
Use all of your STEM skills to design a mini-sleigh to race down our mini-mountain and see who can bring the Grinch down to Whoville the fastest!
Meet the Grinch, 12-3 pm
Meet the lovable curmudgeon whose heart grew three sizes, and get a high five or a hug.
Art Discovery Center, 12-4 pm
Chinese characters, try on costumes, play gallery games, peek under lift-up panels on the Wall of Symbols to discover the meaning behind Asian motifs, and put on a puppet show. This Week’s Project: Make a Gingerbread Card.
Culture & Cocktails: Hollywood and the Holidays
December 12: 5–8 pm
Cost: $20; Cost for Members: $10
Mix up the weekday with a toast to culture, community, and conversation!
Celebrate the season in the Gingerbread: Hollywood and the Holidays special exhibit, dress as your favorite holiday movie character, watch a gingerbread decorating demonstration with Chef Eric, and experience a special planetarium show. Plus music, festive hors d’oeuvres and cocktails!
Includes entertainment and hors d’oeuvres. Cash bar. Ages 21 and up. Advance purchase suggested.
December 19, 12:15–1 pm
Cost: $4; Members: $2
As part of the popular lunchtime lecture series, Museums a la Carte, folk duo Three of Cups presents traditional folk music of the season from the British Isles and the U.S. This presentation will include music for Christmas and Hanukkah, as well as midwinter carols, and also a special look at what it takes to make a good wassailing song. Three of Cups is Springfield-native Ann-Marie Messbauer on vocals, fiddle, and guitar; and Deborah Claar, from Burlington, MA, on vocals, tambourine, and even occasionally jingle bells. They have been performing together for thirty years.
The audience is invited to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program.
Tickets available first-come, first-serve on the day of the lecture at the Welcome Center. The audience is invited to bring a lunch to enjoy during the program. Free coffee available. Cookies provided courtesy of Big Y.
Everything is Awesome! Build It Week
December 27-30: 10 am–5 pm (Sunday, December 29, hours are 11 am-5 pm)
Live your LEGO dreams at the Museums. Each day is a little different from the one before and each features a guest appearance, including David White, Illustrator, 11 am-1 pm, Saturday, December 28. White is a Western Massachusetts-based artist who specializes in designing giant robots, or mecha, for video games and books.