The SECU Crystal Coast Hospice House Annual Gingerbread Festival returns for its seventh year to the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City, Friday-Sunday, Dec. 6-8 with a whimsical wonderland of confections and holiday crab pot trees created by the community.

The 2019 Gingerbread Festival begins with a ticketed preview party from 7-11 p.m. Dec. 6. North Tower band will be playing and Seaside Sensations will be catering.

The festival is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 7-8, featuring a gingerbread house competition created by local artists, individuals, schools and community groups, crab pot Christmas trees designed and decorated by individuals and corporate sponsors, Santa visits, reindeer games and crafts for children of all ages and festive holiday music and entertainment. The festival is free.

Crab pot trees, T-shirts, ornaments, concessions and sweets will be available for sale.

The gingerbread house competition is free and open to bakers of all abilities and ages. The four categories are professional, adult, junior and pint size, with cash prizes awarded in all categories.

Entries do not have to be a house, just an edible structure. A completed and signed entry form must be submitted by Monday, Dec. 2.

Entries will be on display and open for public viewing during the festival.

The awards reception will be at 4 p.m. Dec. 8.

Aside from entering the gingerbread competition, there are ways to support the Gingerbread Festival and the CCHH, including sponsoring and decorating a crab pot holiday tree, volunteering to be a festival helper, attending the preview party and donating.

CCHH’s mission statement is to provide an inpatient hospice home to the service region and ensure exceptional care management and perpetual funding for facilities, services, programs and expansion.

Since opening July 1, 2013, SECU Crystal Coast Hospice House has served more than 1,200 patients and their families.

For more information, call 252-808-2244 or visit the website

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