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Voting for a favorite gingerbread house proved to be quite the challenge last Tuesday evening with so many great entries to choose from! Talented vocalist Sally Aschim entertained all those attending the annual Open House and Gingerbread Contest with a fun variety of holiday tunes.

The annual Marias Museum Open House and Gingerbread Contest held last Tuesday had 58 cookie entries and 36 houses! When the votes were in, the Smith family won the Judges’ Choice award and Addison Richman won the People’s Choice award for their houses. Jamie Smith won People’s Choice for her cookie entry and K-leigh Skeels won Judges’ Choice.

The Heritage Center once again had quite a few entries, with Jeanette Brown winning first place for her house, Martina Cox and Opal Larson winning second place and third place going to Jack Hayes. Bev Rogers, Richard Vandenbos, Helen Bender, Deloris Zell and Syble Osler all received Honorable Mention.

When it came to the houses by age category the following winners were announced: four-years-old, Coltin Riphenburg, first; six-years-old, Mackenzie O’Leary, first, Maclean Anders, second, Grady White, third; seven-years-old, Zoey Fisher, first, Linden Aikins, second, Morgan Riphenburg, third; eight-years-old, Elizabeth O’Leary, first, Gracelyn Anders, second, Alle Holmes, third; nine-years-old, Marshall Richman, first, Corin Scarborough, second; 10-years-old, August Aikins, first, Zoey Holmes, second; 11-years-old, Addison Richman, first, Spencer O’Leary, second, Jadis Scarborough, third; 12/13-years-old, Lindy Kiefer, first, Alex Riphenburg, second, Grant O’Leary, third. The Smith family placed first in the family category, the Galata School students placed first for a group four to 10-years-old and Josh and Mallory Riphenburg won first for the adult group category. North Toole County High School earned honorable mention with three entries, no names of the creators were listed.

The cookies had an outstanding turnout, with Shelby Elementary kindergartners submitting 40 entries alone! Teacher, Brittany Tomsheck, shared that she did the cookie decorating as an art project with her class and Mrs. Goodan’s kindergarten class.

“I did this last year too,” said Tomsheck. “The kids really have a lot of fun with it!”

This year’s cookie winners by category are as follows: four-years-old, Coltin Riphenburg, first place; six-years-old, Shaelynn Smith, first; eight-years-old, Sara Smith, first; 14-years-old, Kenny Miller, first, Wyatt Manthey, second; 15-years-old, K-leigh Skeels, first, Annika Furr, second, Mickaela Vento, third; females 16-years-old, Brooke Holland, first, Anna Wedel, second; boys 16-years-old, Cade Hanson, first, Blake Smylie, second, Josh Kearns, third; girls 17-years-old, Elizabeth Smith, first, Laura Myer, second; boys 17 to 19-years old, Cole Johnson, first, Cameron Peltier, second.

In recognition of this year’s theme, “My Favorite Christmas Memory,” the cartoon “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was shown. Musical entertainment was graciously provided by Wade and Kayleen Nelson and Sally Aschim.

The Marias Museum Board thanks all who participated and everyone who came to this year’s event.

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