Elaborate gingerbread houses on display at Milw. Public Market

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- It's the most wonderful time of the year, and that's especially true for Crystal Engstrom who even goes by the nickname "Christmas."

"I am obsessed with Christmas, I always have been. I have a full back tattoo of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and all of the characters," said Engstrom.

Crystal is one of 14 students participating in the Milwaukee Area Technical College's Gingerbread House Display at the Milwaukee Public Market.

"There's a boat, there's houses, there's Dr. Seuss, there's just so many different ideas and the creativity from the students is just fabulous," said MATC Baking and Pastry Arts Coordinator Debra Socha.

The students had 3 weeks to complete their gingerbread house.

"Everything is handmade and just everything that I could find that was edible," said Engstrom.

Visitors can bid on the gingerbread houses in a silent auction.

Judges from the Wisconsin Bakers Association will also pick the top 3 winners who will be awarded with a scholarship.

"You have the chance of winning a prize and to really push yourself, so there's really no reason not to do it. I think it was a great opportunity," said MATC student Rachel Rick.

The public also has a chance to vote for their favorite gingerbread house in the People's Choice Award category and the winning student will also receive scholarship money.

As the gingerbread houses sit on display, their creators hope they'll take home a big prize.

"I would probably cry, I'd freak out," said Rick.

Making it a very Merry Christmas.

The gingerbread houses will be on display until December 17th.

A ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. on the 17th at the Milwaukee Public Market, where the winners of the scholarships and silent auction will be announced.