Upper Canada Village to award cash prize of $1500 for best gingerbread

First Canadian Gingerbread House Championship to be held at 9th Annual Alight at Night Festival

MORRISBURG, ON, Nov. 13 /CNW/ - Upper Canada Village will be playing host to the first annual Canadian Gingerbread House Championship at its upcoming Alight at Night Festival, a popular holiday lights extravaganza where the Village's 40 heritage buildings are bedecked in over a quarter million colourful lights. The Village believes the site will set the perfect stage to showcase the best-of-the-best in gingerbread house-building craftsmanship, and plans to award cash and getaway prizes in a variety of categories.

"We are very excited about adding a competition of this caliber to our annual lights festival and to engage the public in being a part of it" says Pat Macdonald, CEO of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission which operates Upper Canada Village. "As inspiration, sixteen students from the Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts School in Ottawa have been commissioned to construct four masterpiece gingerbread houses themed around some of the Village's own buildings, which will be an added enhancement to the event. Some of these same students will serve as judges for the competition."

The Village is hoping to attract individuals, school teams, businesses and other culinary partners from across the region in Ontario and western Quebec to enter the competition this year, in the hopes that it will grow to capture the attention of entrants from other parts of the country in subsequent years. A grand prize of $1500 plus a two-night getaway including admission to Upper Canada Village and golf at Upper Canada Golf Course will be awarded on Saturday, November 28, along with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place cash and getaway prizes in adult, teen and youth categories. The deadline to register is November 20, 2009 and entry fees have been waived for year one. The registration form, guidelines and other information are all online at www.AlightatNight.ca or by calling 1-800-437-2233 (613-543-4328 locally).

All gingerbread house creations will be showcased against a stunning, holiday forest-like setting inside Crysler Hall for the duration of the Alight at Night Festival. This majestic, upper class 19th century home located in the heart of the Village is destined to be one of the festival's main attractions this year, with an all-new show-stopping Sound & Light Show played out on the exterior of the historic building.

The "gingerbread" theme doesn't end with the competition. Another Village building will be transformed into a Life-Size Gingerbread House, where visitors of all ages can indulge in special holiday treats including homemade old-fashioned gingerbread cookies.

Upper Canada Village's Alight at Night Festival draws up to 40,000 visitors a year who partake in touring the site on foot, taking rides on horse-drawn wagons and romantic carriages, hopping on board a life-size Toy Train, skating under the stars, festive dining, unique shopping and more each holiday season. The event runs nightly starting at 4:30 p.m. from Saturday, November 28 until Sunday, January 3 (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). It attracts people from across Ontario and Quebec, with the marketing sponsorship of the Ontario Tourism Event Marketing Partnership. Upper Canada Village also partners with the several hotels and bed and breakfasts in the area, who together make the Alight at Night Festival and other regional attractions the hub of a true holiday getaway destination. Overnight package information and online ticket purchases are available online at www.AlightatNight.ca.

For more information visit the Alight at Night web site or call 1-800-437-2233 (613-543-4328 locally).

Operated by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, an agency of the Government of Ontario, Upper Canada Village is located in Morrisburg at Exit 758 off Highway 401, 60 minutes southeast of Ottawa and 90 minutes west of Montreal and east of Kingston.


For further information: For further information: Jancis Sommerville, Upper Canada Village Marketing Officer, jancis.sommerville@parks.on.ca, (613) 543-3704, ext 2495

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