The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal is ready to open its lobby to dozens of gingerbread houses again this year.

With its third annual gingerbread house contest and display, children and adults can submit entries for a chance to win gift cards sponsored by the city’s Walmart and County Market.

The contest will award $50 and $100 gift cards to the winners. The entry period opens Nov. 28 and closes Dec. 11. The community votes on the best crafted houses during the city’s Living Windows event Dec. 12.

Due to the pandemic, the voting period will be longer this year. To reduce the number of people who congregate for voting, the community will be able to vote all day Dec. 12 instead of the typical three-hour period.

Melissa Cummins, marketing and community relations manager of the museum, said she started the event two years ago as a fun activity the museum could offer to incorporate both adults and children in the community during the holiday season.

Each year, the gingerbread houses fill the lobby of the museum and are lined along the windows. As people walk by the museum, they are able see entries created by people from the community.

In the past, Cummins said the community has been very creative with the designs. She has seen contest participants make wreaths for the tiny houses with thyme and parsley, create shingles with Chex mix and design log style cabins with pretzels.

The contest has a child division for those ages 6 to 12 and an adult division for ages 13 and up. For those who don’t want to build the houses from scratch, Cummins said, there is a division for gingerbread house kits as well.

If you want more information on the requirements for the contest, visit the website at

  • Community reporter, fall 2020. I am a first-year graduate student studying magazine journalism. I can be reached at, or in the newsroom at 573-882-5700

Recommended for you