Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Falling Waters” in gingerbread from the 2010 competition. (photo by Bill Rhodes)
from Grove Park Inn
Twenty years ago the first gingerbread house display at The Grove Park Inn began with literally a handful of entries. Today it has become one of the country’s most celebrated holiday events, with coverage every year on ABC’s Good Morning America. “For a long time we have been concerned with the frenzied atmosphere during Gingerbread for both our overnight guests, who are spending their holiday with us, as well as our daytime guests,” said Ronald E. Morin, Vice President and General Manager of The Grove Park Inn. “We want to change that atmosphere to one of pure enjoyment and that can only be accomplished by reducing the numbers viewing our Gingerbread display at one time. We will monitor this by controlled parking. We believe this will enhance your experience and deliver the most memorable holiday season you and your family has ever spent at The Grove Park Inn.”
The Gingerbread display will run from November 20 – January 2, 2013. Beginning November 19 there will be a parking fee to control the volume of visitors. The public viewing times that have been in place for years but have not been strictly adhered to, allows daytime (non-overnight guests) to visit Monday – Thursdays (excluding Fridays – Sundays, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day) to view the Gingerbread display and expanded holiday décor. Outdoor parking will be $10, garage $12 and valet $15 – per car. We encourage you to ride the Asheville City bus or a trolley and leave your car at home. Every weekend you can get a sneak preview of some of the top gingerbread winners at The Grove Arcade.
The show starts at the entrance to The Grove Park Inn where guests are welcomed at the icicle-decorated guardhouse followed by a driveway lined with illuminated trees to the front entrance of the Inn. Inside, the Great Hall will be dressed with columns wrapped in colorful garland; lights and decorations dangling from chandeliers; stone fireplaces crackling beneath wreaths; and a towering magnolia Christmas tree wrapped in red and gold as grand piano music fills the lobby and heightens the seasonal excitement.
The lobby tree will be just one of 80 decorated trees throughout the property. There will be 40 trees in individual suites; a giant White Peacock tree in the Sammons Wing; a brown, gold and copper tree for the Vanderbilt Atrium; and themed trees including “Presidential,” “Famous Visitors,” “Elf,” “Arts & Crafts,” “Wine” and “Jewel Toned.”
Santa Claus will visit resort guests throughout the holiday season and history tours and holiday movies are offered between Thanksgiving and the Christmas. In addition, the Inn’s Employee Christmas Choir will fill the halls with holiday carols daily, a tradition for 20 years.
20th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition
This year, the competition is aiming to receive contestants from every start across the country vying for the Grand Prize of more than $7,500 in cash and prizes. For the first time, the competition will award $1,000 to the entrant who travels the farthest to compete.
The judges will award the winners on November 17, and guests will be able to view an array of awe-inspiring entries on display from November 20-January 2, 2013. Visitors to the hotel are welcome to view the competition free of charge, though parking at the resort for day visitors begins at $10 per car.
For more information or to book a holiday-themed travel package at The Grove Park Inn, please contact 800-438-5800 or visit www.groveparkinn.com