Decorating for the holidays is often something that gives family's homes a slice of cheer, but one local business is celebrating its fourth year of brightening up its own shop thanks to the hard work of lots of kids hoping to have the biggest and best gingerbread house of all.
And this year, the gingerbread houses have spread to East Hampton Village.
After opening up a second shop this year on Newtown Lane, Mary's Marvelous will continue its gingerbread house contest – this one being the fourth annual – at the pastry shop's East Hampton location as well as keeping the light-hearted competition going strong at its original store in Amagansett.
"I thought it would be fun for Amagansett and the kids," said owner Mary Schoenlein. "There are so many kids in the store. It's been fantastic."
Schoenlein said that on average, she's seen about 25 submissions into the contest, which for the past couple of years has been limited to kids. This year though, as with the first year of the competition, Mary's Marvelous is opening up the competition to adults.
"Oh you should have seen it the first year. We had architects, builders," she said. "They were something else."
Schoenlein noted, though, that contestants do have make sure they follow the rules, which are pretty straightforward. The houses can only be made with kits sold at the shops, which sell for $10, in addition to a slew of toppings added at home. Though all contents must be edible. Platforms no larger than a 10-inch by 10-inch base are required for the homes, and submissions are due by Dec. 19.
Customers pick the winner by casting their own ballots based on what they see on display in the shop. Schoenlein said first place in the kids category is birthday cupcakes for their school class.
Adults? "I think that winner gets a big ribbon," Schoenlein said.