The votes are in!

It was a record year for submissions in the News-Times gingerbread house contest, with builders reaching new heights in creativity.

Special thanks goes out to Pacific Insurance Partners who provided Pizza Schmizza and Connie’s Corner Café gift certificates to the winners.

Mayme Seaton is a crafter and a tinkerer, so it was natural for her to start decorating gingerbread houses about 10 years ago. Seaton was the Peoples Choice winner this year. She cut hundreds of pieces of red and white gum into shingle shapes for her roof after researching gingerbread houses on the Internet. And like a protective homeowner, she added siding to her gingerbread walls, using an experimental material: long, flat sticks of white gum. The house also featured swirly fences made of firm-drying icing, frosted bon-bon shrubs, and upside down ice cream cones for trees.

by: NEWS-TIMES PHOTOS: - Candy, Ian and Iris Cebula won in their respective age groups, making the gingerbread decorating and contest-winning a family affair. Iriss idea for the campfire scene came to her while she was half asleep. She made the fire with melted hard candies. Its become a tradition thats fun to do every year, said Ian, who made his reindeer reins with twisted Fruit Roll-Ups and his sleigh runners with candy canes.  Mom Candy made an owl, making sure to bake her gingerbread long enough so it doesnt sag, so  it is edible but also quite sturdy.

Elliot and Patrick Remenih helped their mom Christine with the gingerbread farm. The little pink marshmallows piggies are fenced in with pretzels and fed from the Chex Mix silo. A plastic truck driver hauls away Christmas trees made of upside-down ice cream cones covered with shredded coconut dyed fir-needle green. Ive never built one before, Christine Remenih said. But we tried to think of something local and thought of a Christmas tree farm.

Marek Stanton (left) created a frosted graham-cracker fortress with a colored Tootsie Roll nugget dragon inside, breathing a red-frosting fire from its mouth. Brother Corban and mom Kalika look on.

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