Iowa City Downtown has Gingerbread House Competition


Madeline Deninger and Lucy Wagner

Cookies and candies of various sizes were spread across tables at the first annual Downtown Gingerbread House Competition on the evening of December 12th. The holiday spirit was in full swing as participants of every age rushed to finish their houses in hopes of winning the grand prize: a $100 gift card to downtown Iowa City. David Noble, a City High alum of ‘01, did not take the traditional route in constructing his project.

“[My wife and I] entered the competition for a fun date night,” Noble said. “We are very excited about the Hawks going to the Rose Bowl, so we decided to create a Hawkeye inspired house.”

However, the competition was not solely about the gingerbread. A percentage of the proceeds went to the Iowa City United Way, a nonprofit organization that covers local issues such as education, health, and income. Bridget Brown ‘18 and Muriel Brown ‘20 first heard about the competition through their father who works for the organization.

“We wanted to surprise our dad [by entering the competition],” Bridget said.

Nancy Bird, the executive director of the Iowa City Downtown District, believes the event was successful in part because of its wide appeal.

“At this time of year, competitions are fun for very little kids, to high schoolers, to people in their seventies,” Bird said. “It’s a really great multi-generational event!”