The Great Gingerbread Build

Date(s): Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Time: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Contact: Steven Dahlmeier

Phone: 605-338-4009


Join us for the inaugural Gingerbread Build event, sponsored by Downtown Sioux Falls and the Sioux Falls Design Center. An open house and judging will take place on November 28, at the Sioux Falls Design Center. The structures will then be moved to various downtown retailer to be displayed from November 30 - December 23. Check back for a list of participating retailers. Awards will be given to Best in Show and Peoples Choice.

Prizes will be awarded for the top build in each class.

Display Dates (DTSF Retailers): November 30 - December 23 Check back for a list of retailer display locations. 




• Youth (17 & Under)
• Adult (Ages 18+)
• Business / Organization

• November 23 & 24 from 1 - 6pm
• Structures will be dropped off at the Sioux Falls Design Center, 108 West 11th Street
• Contact with delivery questions

Three judges will be selected from the local community and will view all entries on November 28. You will be notified if you receive an award and winners will be posted the DTSF and Sioux Falls Design Center’s Facebook pages. Houses will also be reviewed for soundness of structure and adherence to size and construction guidelines. If we must make major repairs prior to judging or if house does not meet guidelines, it will not be eligible for an award. Please remember the judging is subjective.

Structures will be judged on:

  • Originality and Creativity
  • Overall appearance
  • Difficulty
  • Precision and Neatness

Every effort will be made to display all entries to their best advantage; however due to limitations of our display areas, detailed interiors or backs of houses may not be visible during display. Most houses will be seen from front and side viewing. Structures will be on display at various DTSF retailers from November 30 - December 23 (Some houses may be removed prior to December 23 due to deterioration).  A full list of display locations will be posted on by November 28.

Entry forms must be returned by November 19. You may email the information to or you may mail the form to the address on the following page. Due to space restrictions, we must limit our display to the first 40 entries this year.


Structure should be constructed on a sturdy base that will not bend when transported (heavy cardboard, foam core or wood dependent on weight). If using cardboard, cover base with aluminum foil so that moisture from the icing does not soak into it. The top of your base must be covered with edible materials.

Due to limited space, we are not able to accept entries whose dimensions exceed 24” x 24” x 24”. The base should not extend more than 6” beyond the perimeter of the primary structure. We may not be able to accommodate displays with large yards or areas outside the primary structure.


  • Please refrain from using kits to build your structure. Be creative – have fun!
  • All decorations and visible/exposed portions of your structure must be made from edible materials. This includes the top of your base.
  • Due to the weight of the decorated house, as well as environmental conditions in the display areas, we suggest always building an infrastructure for support. This can be built from foam core or heavy cardboard, using a substantial amount of Royal Icing as “glue” (see recipe below).
  • The houses are on display for an extended period of time. The combination of heat, moisture and weight will cause them to deteriorate if there is not enough support or icing used.
  • No battery or electric components should be included in the structure.
  • Any inedible infrastructure objects included with your entry will NOT be returned at the end of the display.
  • Use only Royal Icing. We cannot accept structures made with egg or butter icings as they quickly can spoil and soften causing the structure to disintegrate.
  • If baking gingerbread from scratch, bake several days before assembling to prevent shrinkage.
  • Do not use anything on your house that requires refrigeration (such as prepared Jello, etc.)
  • Use A LOT of Royal Icing to assemble and decorate. Allow each portion to dry and harden before moving.

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