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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eastern State Penitentiary, in the Fairmount section of the city, is spicing things up with a gingerbread contest.

pen 1 photo At Historic Philly Prison, A Contest In GingerbreadVisitors touring Eastern State Penitentiary are casting their votes, by dropping stones into a metal canister, to select which of the two gingerbread penitentiaries they liked best — a grey-and-white version depicting the building in wintertime with a coating of snow, or a more whimsical depiction (close-up at right) with gingerbread men wearing prison stripes inside their cells and gingerbread guards in uniform outside.

Kelly Otterson (in center of top photo) is an assistant site manager.  She says the contest is to kick off the winter adventure tours at the historic site:

“Instead of walking through with the self-guided audio tour — which is fantastic — they get a tour guide.  The tour guide can tell you about something you are interested in.  If you want to hear about an escape, you can ask and the tour guide can tell you.  So it offers this sort of personalized  perspective on the prison.”

You can also bake your own gingerbread prison and post it online at easternstate.org.

Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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