Winterfest's First Annual Cookie Contest and Festival


Children and their parents fill their kitchens with the wonderful scent of baking cookies, along with clouds of flour, scatterings of sprinkles and sugar, and excited chatter about holiday plans. The tradition of cookie-baking links generations as recipes are handed down over the years.

NOTICE: Due to predicted rain, the cookie festival has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. No one likes a soggy cookie!

Sponsored by
Pensacola News Journal

Now, with the help of Santa himself, Winterfest will be inviting entries in three divisions: professional, home bakers, and children. Santa’s favorite chefs will be selected to offer their best cookies in a variety of categories to be tasted by a judging panel. After the judging, adults and kids of all ages will have the chance to sample the entries and will choose their favorite for a “People’s Choice” award. Of course, Santa will choose his own favorite.

Get your ticket to be one of the samplers -- try all of the cookies, help select the People's Choice winners, and enjoy other Winterfest fun on the afternoon of Saturday, December 8

Professional Division

Includes bakeries, restaurants, culinary institutes, and school programs. There will be up to 10 entries in this category. Each chef will supply 10 dozen cookies for the contest.

Home Baker Division

Twenty bakers will be chosen to compete on Dec. 8, 2018. Bakers will supply 5 dozen cookies for the contest.

Children’s Division

Open to children under twelve years of age. Cookies do not have to be baked. There are no specific categories for this division. Children will be judges. There will be up to 15 entries in this category. Each child will supply 5 dozen cookies.


All winning bakers will receive 2 tickets for the Winterfest Performance Tour plus 4 tickets to ride the Winterfest Express train. Winners will be announced by Santa at the awards ceremony on Saturday, December 8 at 3:30 pm. Professional bakers will receive an award logo for their place of business. Home bakers will receive an announcement sign. The winner of the People’s Choice Award and Santa’s Favorite will receive a $500 cash prize.

Come try the delicious cookies for yourself, then vote on your favorite! Tickets for the participating public will be $10 when purchased online, or $15 when purchased at the door.

When: Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018
Judging will take place between noon and 1:30 pm, and the public will be admitted from 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm.

Where: “Christmas Courtyard” at the Escambia County Courthouse, 223 Palafox Place

Categories of Prizes:

  • People's Choice
  • Santa's Favorite
  • Unique Recipe
  • Best Execution
  • Cookies must be baked from scratch. All ingredients and recipe must be posted at the tasting table. ###Entry fees: Professional and Home Baker Divisions: $25. Fees will be waived for nonprofit organizations and schools. Children’s Division: $10 Chef entry fees will support contest prizes and a “Santa’s Scholarship” of $500, which will be awarded on Christmas Eve by Santa to the author of his favorite Christmas wish letter.