MEDFORD — A Central Point family took home five awards for four entries in this year's GingerBread Jubilee, while a long-time professional baker's edible sculpture claimed the prize for Best of Show.
Melisa, Rhiannon and Brenden Corcoran crafted a gingerbread replica of Central Point's circa 1911 "Willow Springs School," which won first place Wednesday in the Jubilee's mixed-age group category, as well as third place in a new category commemorating Oregon's 150th birthday. The family worked for almost a month on the historic schoolhouse and its three other entries in the seventh annual fundraiser for Craterian Performances, said 38-year-old Melisa Corcoran.
A community tour of entries runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday. Admission is $3 per person. Five entries will be raffled off during the tour.
Rhiannon, 9, showed strongest in the student category, winning the $500 prize for her "Gingerbean Coffee and Bakery," while her 10-year-old brother Brenden came in third and won $100 for "Nature's Christmas Song," a pastoral scene of birds and bugs crowded around a gingerbread guitar. Both are students at Central Point's Jewett Elementary School.
Melisa Corcoran rounded out the family's honors with her second-place finish in the adult division and a $250 prize for "Adventure to Paradise Falls," a gumball-smothered rendition of the flying house featured in the animated film "Up." Corcoran won last year's People's Choice award for her "Noah's Ark" and has twice held the Jubilee's "best of show" distinction since 2003.
This year's top baker, 40-year-old Rebecca Hill, is a familiar face in the competition. Hill's "Welcome to Downtown Saurasville," an elaborate city scene populated by dinosaurs, won Best of Show, allowing her to defend her 2008 title and propelling her to the winner's circle for a third time since 2005.
Building on the dinosaur theme, Hill and her 5-year-old son, Rafe, took third place in the group category for "All Aboard the Dinotrain," a locomotive navigating a prehistoric landscape complete with a volcano spewing spun-sugar lava.
"He got obsessed with the show 'Dinosaur Train' on PBS," Hill said.
Participants in today's auction can bid on these and 38 other gingerbread sculptures to benefit the Craterian. The auction is planned for 5:30 p.m. at the downtown Medford theater, 23 S. Central Ave. The $75 admission includes food and beverages; reservations are required. Last year's event raised approximately $88,000. For auction reservations or more information, call Sandy Martin at 779-8195, ext. 303.
The community tour of entries runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday. Admission is $3 per person. Five entries will be raffled off during the tour.
Other winners were: Robin Fleissner and Tracy Downing's "Mountain Lodge," first place, adult and Oregon 150 divisions; Lilyana Vazquez's "Save the Penguins," second place, student division; Leanne Wood and Christina Bryson's "Snowfall on Osaka Castle," second place, group division; Christina Jessie, Dee Gunter, Krag Kellems and Mel Jones' "Happy 150th Birthday Oregon," second place, Oregon 150 division, and honorable mention, adult division; Helen Olshausen, Camelia Bilau and Mindy Peters' "Where the Wild Things Are," third place, adult division; Aubrey Hagge's "GingerBread House Traditions," honorable mention, student division; Sherri Shrader and Lindsay Caldwell's "Christmas at the North Pole," honorable mention, group division; and Naomi Bell's "Northwest Paradise," honorable mention, Oregon 150 division.
Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.