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GALLERY: Gingerbread contests offers a sweet start to the holidays

Librarian Kim Kiiskinen took second place in the adult whimsical category with her ski jump creation. She said she was inspired by watching Lillyhammer on Netflix. Gretta Stark / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 7
Anika Hovland, 11, took second place in the Youth Traditional category. The Meyer Middle School sixth grader said this is her fourth gingerbread contest entry. Gretta Stark / RiverTown Multimedia.2 / 7
Harvey (left) and Sebastian Bowden took first (Sebastian) and second place in the youth whimsical category with their gingerbread creations. The contest was sponsored by River Falls State Bank, and winners were given cash prizes. Gretta Stark / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 7
Emmett Matter, 5, took first place in the graham cracker category, with some help from his neighbor. He said he had a lot of fun creating a graham cracker version of his neighborhood, including his and his neighbor's houses, St. Bridget Church, and a water tower. After the creation was complete, Matter also helped clean his neighbor's floor. Matter's mother is a teacher at River Falls High School. Gretta Stark / RiverTown Multimedia.4 / 7
Jill Wurdell won first place in the adult traditional category, and also took home the People's Choice Award. She said her gingerbread creation took about 50 hours to make. Gretta Stark / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 7
Ellen Somerville, 13, took first place in the Youth Traditional category of the River Falls Public Library's annual gingerbread contest. Somerville, a Hudson Middle School eighth grader, said she got a lot of ideas for her creation from Pinterest. Gretta Stark / RiverTown Multimedia.6 / 7
Rocky Branch first-grader Hailey Perfect, 6, won second place in the graham cracker category of the River Falls Public Library Gingerbread contest. Perfect got a little help from Grandma with her creation, which she said was very fun to make. Her favorite part to create was the gummy bear fence. She said her favorite part of the design was a tree made with an ice cream cone and frosting. Gretta Stark / RiverTown Multimedia7 / 7

The River Falls Public Library hosts a gingerbread contest each year in December. The winners were declared last week and include:

Youth Traditional:

1st place - Ellen Somerville

2nd place - Anika Hovland

Graham Cracker:

1st place - Emmett Matter

2nd place - Hailey Perfect

Adult Traditional:

1st place - Jill Wurdell (also People's Choice Winner)

2nd place - Kim Kiiskinen

Youth Whimsical:

1st place - Sebastien Bowden

2nd place - Harvey Bowden

Adult Whimsical:

1st place (tie) - Roseanne Olsen

1st place (tie) - Mary Putzier

People's Choice:

Jill Wurdell


Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

(651) 301-7849