Gingerbread Jimmi Competition continues virtually through COVID-19
Gingerbread Jimmi will overcome the COVID-19 pandemic when the annual gingerbread house contest pivots to a virtual event.
The Park City tradition, which started 12 years ago and is usually held at the Park City Library, will be presented on Zoom at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7.
“I’m so thankful for the Park City Library and (Youth Services Librarian) Katrina Kmak for making this possible,” said J.R. Holbrook, Gingerbread Jimmi creator and founder.
Young house builders will have the opportunity to take a few minutes to introduce themselves and show off their creations, Holbrook said.
Cash prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third places in two age groups — 5-8 and 9-12, he said.
“People will be able to do a curbside pick up of the prizes,” Holbrook said. “All the winners have to do is contact Katrina Kmak, and she will let them know how to do this.”
The Gingerbread Jimmi Gingerbread Contest rules are simple, according to Holbrook.
First, all the gingerbread houses must be made entirely by edible items, and not just restricted to sweets.
“The main structure should be constructed primarily of gingerbread or graham crackers, but they can be decorated with other yummy things,” he said.
Secondly, all entries must be solely constructed by the children entering the competition.
“Parents are allowed to be spotters, and help with the cooking, so we don’t have any catastrophes in the kitchen,” Holbrook said with a laugh. “But the whole objective of the contest is to get the kids involved in the cooking, the creative process and the Christmas spirit.”
Families can RSVP to enter the contest by visiting signupgenius.com/go/5080d4aa8a62aa2fe3-12th.
In addition to the contest itself, the event will feature a virtual reading of the Gingerbread Jimmi book by Santa, who, Holbrook says, will be tuning in from the North Pole.
“Santa will also have a special message for the kids, as well,” he said.
Also highlighting the event will be a new song, “Christmas Sparks,” which will include a children’s Christmas message in 12 different world languages, Holbrook said.
“The divisive attitudes in our country these last few years have been corrosive, and we wanted this song proclaim Christmas love and inclusion to all the world,” he said.
The song was written by songwriter and producer Joshua Sohn, and sung by Grant Westcott.
“Joshua is an amazing songwriter, and I’ve worked with him on the other Gingerbread Jimmi songs,” Holdbrook said. “And Grant is this cute 9-year-old boy who has this great voice. We really wanted him to sing this song before his voice changed.”
The new song is now available on all streaming outlets, and will be included on the new edition of the “Gingerbread Jimmi” CD, which Holbrook will leave at the library.
“This is the fourth song we have done for ‘Gingerbread Jimmi,’” Holbrook said. “And we will now spend the next couple of years working on our 30-minute TV special that we’ve been planning for years,” he said.
Continuing the Gingerbread Jimmi Gingerbread House Competition during the coronavirus pandemic was important for Holbrook, because he wanted to give local families some joy during an uncertain time.
“My motto is ‘dreamers need to stick together,’ and it’s a thrill for me to spark something magical and amazing that gives these kids an extra push to keep going,” he said. “One of my favorite sayings is, ‘The purpose of your life is to create, not compete.’ And I want to show them that it’s always important to come together. Park City is an amazing place, and we want everyone to be part of our family.”
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