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Singing cowboy theme wins GingerBread Jubilee

An homage to Hollywood Westerns and the singing cowboy behind beloved American Christmas tunes stole the show at this year's GingerBread Jubilee.

Robin Fleissner of White City sculpted Gene Autry strumming outside his snow-dusted cabin at Melody Ranch. Titled "Cowboy Christmas," the rustic rendering earned Fleissner the $1,000 grand prize Wednesday evening at Medford's Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater.

The subject matter plays to Fleissner's style of using edible building materials in their natural states: cinnamon sticks as sign posts, rice noodles as hay, overgrown rosemary sprigs as trees and whole cloves as the woolly coat of the cowboy's horse.

An architecturally accurate Sacred Heart Catholic Church created by Kathy Yeoman of Medford warranted first place in the adult category and $500. Second place and $250 went to Amy Maxwell and Lisa Hammonds of Medford for their "It's an Elf Christmas" depicting Medford's Papillon Rouge store. Teresa Casey and Genevieve Keith of Medford took home third place and $100 for "A GingerBread Christmas Story," inspired by the 1983 film about a boy who dreams of receiving a BB gun. The entry also was honored for best adherence to this year's theme: "A Silver Screen GingerBread Holiday."

"A Christmas Story" also spelled success for Cascade Christian High School students, whose "Santa's Wonderland at Higbee's Department Store" won the student category, followed by 7-year-old Rafe Hill of Medford for "Dogs vs. Cats" and Girl Scout Troop 30154 of Grants Pass, which entered "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas."

In the mixed-age group category, 22 students, staff and parents of St. Mary's School, led by Desiree Wienand of Medford, won first place for "Gingerbread Chapel," depicting a construction project on the school's campus. Diane Wilson and Madison Doherty of Medford won second place for "Santa's Workshop." Jacksonville's Hastey family won third place for "Mean 1," which imagines the Grinch hijacking an Erickson Air-Crane.

These are among approximately 35 entirely edible entries slated for auction today to raise funds for Craterian Performances. The sculptures will be displayed Saturday through Wednesday, Nov. 19-23, and Friday and Saturday, Nov. 25-26, at the theater, 23 S. Central Ave. Admission costs $3. See www.craterian.org/gingerbread-jubilee for hours or call 541-779-8195.

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 541-776-4487 or email slemon@mailtribune.com.