The East Warren Schoolhouse was buzzing with people who were there to see the 2012 Warren Gingerbread Contest display. They were not disappointed; as usual The Valley took it to heart and got creative. Fifty-two projects were judged in six categories, more than 65 ribbons were awarded and more than 450 people came to see the show.

The big winner was an impressive replica of Summer on Bridge Street. Alive with color and river-goers, this piece was fascinating, each detail a treat for the eyes. The creators known in gingerbread circles as “the Prickly Mountain Gang” took top prize, Best in Show, as well as a blue ribbon in the Team/Family and the coveted People's Choice Award, voted on by visitors to the show. Like an old-school model train set, it took the event to a whole new level; the detail, the color and the cheerfulness are a lovely tribute to the rebirth actually happening on Bridge Street.

In the Big Kids category of 10 and ups, first place was a tie between North Hodgson's "Jaws" and Sophia Acker's "The Grinch." Both of these kids are seasoned Warren gingerbreaders, and their skills really showed. Second place went to newcomers Janie Cozzi and Mary Harris for their Waitsfield covered bridge, a real day at the beach. Top honors in the 7- to 9-year-old category went to Avery Paquin for her gumdrop baseball field. Second place was Veda Chojnicki for her candy-encrusted fairy house. The 6 and under little kid category was a tie for first between Poppy Woods’ "Little Bakery" and Sadie German's "Candy Cottage." Second place went to Sammy Kohl for "A Little Horse Barn." Third went to Scout Vitko for her pink VW ice cream bus complete with pretzel axles.

The adult category was close with Dave Hodgson's awesome replica of The Pitcher Inn edging out Erin Chase's "Our Garden" by just one point. The Pitcher Inn, a big scale model, built to perfection with dark chocolate and lit from within is a construction marvel. "Our Garden" was a feast in miniature magic with every tiny vegetable so perfectly shaped and colored you could just eat one. Third place went to Allyson Lavit and Josh Langlais for their East LA high-rise "La Bodega" detailed with billboards and bright graffiti.

The steepest competition was, as always, in the Team/Family category. Blue ribbon went to the Prickly Mountain Gang for their amazing replica of Bridge Street. Second place went to the longtime team Mary and Andreas Lehner and Laurie and Bruce Jones for their replica of "Nyhavn Waterfront" in Copenhagen which took top honors in the Best Replica Category, delightfully detailed and colored to perfection, like stepping back in time. Third place in Team/Family went to miniature masters, the Behn family, for their cozy log cabin, so lovely inside, it felt like home. The Behns also received a special blue ribbon prize for Miniature Distinction. Fourth place in Team/Family went to the Kingsbury family for their Eiffel Tower, sparkling and snow covered, true holiday cheer.

All the funds raised will go to support the Warren After School program now in its 24th year at the Warren School.