MILLERSBURG, Ky. — Mustard Seed Hill is a Bourbon County landmark that, each year around this time, is transformed into a winter wonderland. More than awe-inspiring Christmas lights, the destination hosts an annual gingerbread house competiton with a cash prize.

What You Need To Know

  • Mustard Seed Hill hosts an annual gingerbread house competition

  • The Bourbon County tradition attracts thousands of visitors each holiday season

  • The first-place prize can reach up to $3,000

Visitors travel to Mustard Seed Hill in Millersburg not to just see the beautiful holiday lights, but to experience the creativity of bakers from as far away as Missouri as they roll out the “dough” in the hope of winning some dough in the annual Gingerbread House competition.

"You are going to see everything from tiny, cute little things that kids have designed all the way up to these huge masterpieces that pastry chefs have designed that don't even look real," said Mustard Seed Hill President Victoria Benson. "They look like doll houses. It's big time."

Gingerbread artists can win up to $3,000 for a first-place structure. "That's a good chunk of change," Benson added.

Gingerbread creations of all shapes and sizes are on display through most of December in the historic Allen House and McIntyre Hall on the Mustard Seed Hill campus. Each unique creation is made only with edible materials.

An intricate gingerbread structure is on display at Mustard Seed Hill. (Spectrum News 1/Diane France)

"The gingerbread houses, they're just amazing," said Kathy Johnston, one visitor. "They're just beautiful to look at."

So beautiful, that picking a holiday favorite from all of the unique designs isn’t easy. "It'd be impossible," visitor Pat Wilson added.

"Historically, Duncan Tavern is wonderful, and how they've created the water with the mills, that's so creative," Wilson said of one ornate gingerbread home.

Benson said the work and dedication that artists put into their work is nothing short of amazing.

"They really look like pieces of artwork. I mean, even some that aren't even pastry chefs have surprised us this year with how amazing and architecturally sound these are," Benson said.

Edible artworks have earned the winners across several categories in this competition nearly $10,000 in prize money.