CORNING - The Rockwell Museum announced the winners of the Second Annual Gingerbread Invitational.

The exhibition, an artful gingerbread competition and exhibition with a focus on historic landmarks and architecture in Corning and the surrounding region, is on view now through January 2. Throughout the holiday season, visitors to The Rockwell will have the opportunity to cast their vote for their favorite gingerbread creation, selecting the Community Choice Award, the winner of which will be announced in early January.

On Thursday, The Rockwell hosted an exhibition opening where a panel of judges announced three winners based on originality, use of materials, level of difficulty, and overall presentation. The panel included guest judges Amy Simpson, Reporter and Anchor at WETM 18 News; Don Beckley of LeChase Construction; and Kristin Swain, Executive Director of The Rockwell Museum.

A group of friends including Ann Cady, Colleen McCall, and Martha Easton took the First Prize for their rendition of The Mark Twain Study in Elmira. Their creative use of materials, accurate representation of the building, and an overall “yumminess” factor won the judges over.

Wegmans Bakery won Second Prize for its rendition of the Centerway Square in Corning, complete with Santa and his sleigh, titled “The Heart of Corning.” This was Wegmans second year competing, and it plans to compete again next year.

“We felt that this piece really captured a warm holiday spirit,” said judge Don Beckley.

Barbara Mack of Corning Pie Works and her family were awarded third prize for their whimsical version of the Corning Fire Department, which includes a fire engine carefully created with over ten types of candy. Judge Kristin Swain was especially taken by their inclusion of the iconic bell that used to hang in The Rockwell Museum’s tower.

“The exhibition opening and awards ceremony was a huge success. It’s clear from the community support we’ve seen so far that the Gingerbread Invitational will be a great tradition for The Rockwell and Corning for years to come,” said Project Manager Willa Vogel.

The Rockwell Museum offers free admission to The Gingerbread Invitational during the annual Holiday Open House on December 3 and 4, 2016. On December 3, The Rockwell hosts Family Sparkle from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m., with gingerbread cookie decorating and holiday games.

“Thanks to our sponsors, we’ll also be offering free admission on Thursdays, 5 to 7 p.m., throughout December. Family Night Sponsored by LeChase Construction will offer warm drinks, sweet treats, and a nice opportunity for an unplugged evening with your family and friends,” said Vogel.

The Gingerbread Invitational is sponsored in part by LeChase Construction.