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Giant greeting card and gingerbread house competition finalists named

  • Updated

The annual Holiday Festival of Lights kicked off its 23rd season with an awards ceremony for the event’s annual giant greeting card and gingerbread house competitions. winning entries in both competitions are on display during the festival, which runs daily through Dec. 31.

This year, the giant greeting card competition received 39 entries from Charleston County student groups in elementary, middle and high school divisions. The winning top three schools in each division received a trophy and cash award to apply back into their school arts program.

Elementary School:

First: Drayton Hall Elementary

Second: Orange Grove Elementary Charter-Studio Art

Third: Sunshine House Park West

Middle School:

First: Fort Johnson Middle Art Club

Second: James Island Middle

Third: Thomas Cario Middle

High School:

First: West Ashley High School

Second: Septima P. Clark Academy

Third: Palmetto Scholars Academy

Entries for the annual gingerbread house competition were judged in five age categories for creativity, craftsmanship, theme, difficulty and overall appearance. From an enchanting pirate ship and lighthouse to a snow-topped village, entries exhibited a high level of creativity and craftsmanship. Winners were:

Kit Category, all ages:

First: Madeleine Hirsch

Second: Emily Harris

Honorable Mention: Eliza Eckert, Marley Eckert

Original Category, ages 17 and older:

First: Kelly Schmeling

Second: Beth Tompkins

Original Category, youth ages 8-16:

First: Lydia Cox

Original Category, parent-child (child Ages 3-7):

First: Spence Cox

Second: Lucas Kaul

Many of the winning gingerbread houses and giant greeting cards may be viewed on site at the Holiday Festival of Lights.

The festival’s third annual Light Display Design Contest for ages 12 and under is currently accepting entries through Jan. 4.

This contest encourages youth to submit drawings for future light displays.

One drawing will be selected as an inspiration for a new light display at next year’s Holiday Festival of Lights.

To download an event entry form and for contest details, visit

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