If you’re a chocolate and festival lover, prepare to indulge. We can’t think of two better things to put together.
But where are these little heavens on Earth?
Don’t worry. We’ve lined up the country’s tastiest chocolate festivals for you.
Let’s jump in!
Experience the Decadence of Chocolate Festivals
A chocolate festival is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the celebration of America’s candy of choice. According to a 2022 online poll, this treat is, by and large, the favorite confection in the country.
Along with handmade crafts, music, and workshops, you’ll experience chocolate in every possible variation. From drinks to appetizers to main dishes, it’s certainly not just for dessert.
In addition, many festivals offer chef demonstrations of preparing chocolate in unique and creative ways. And you can’t go wrong with learning how to pair it with wine or whiskey.
While the events cater to your inner chocoholic, you’ll also have the opportunity to support local charities. So you can be guilt-free about indulging in your favorite treat your money goes to a good cause.
Now, we’ll get into five of the best chocolate festivals in the country. We won’t judge if you decide to attend all of them!
#1 The Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival
San Francisco’s Ghiradelli Chocolate Festival is an annual two-day event in early September. Local chefs display how to use the sweet ingredient in crafty ways.
Additionally, Ghiradelli’s “Chocolate Professor,” Steve Genzoli, will teach you the bean-to-bar process. You may never think of chocolate the same after taking this class.
The Earthquake Ice Cream Eating Contest is not to miss. Even if you don’t want to participate, watching competitors consume the massive sundaes with only their mouths is exciting. That’s right! You can’t use utensils or your hands in the process. Admittedly, it might be a little disturbing to watch for those with messy eater issues.
The silent auction, benefitting Project Open Hand, offers packages from local hotels, restaurants, and other area vendors. Winning bids help the nonprofit continue serving meals to elderly and homebound people around the Bay Area.
Choose from five different ticket options available online, from basic to VIP. September is a beautiful time to visit San Francisco. You’ll have plenty to see around the city once you get your fill of chocolatey goodness.
#2 Mobile Chocolate Festival
In Mobile, Alabama, a local nonprofit, Penelope House, organizes an annual chocolate festival each March. All proceeds help them further their mission of helping victims of domestic violence and their children.
In addition to samples of chocolate-related products, you’ll enjoy various activities packed into this one-day event. The Cupcake Booth, Chocolate Martini tasting, and Magic Memories Photo Booth all sound delicious and fun.
You’ll also learn creative ways to use candy wrappers at this festival. Project Yum Yum allows aspiring designers to turn trash into unique fashion displays.
Ticket prices are very reasonable. Depending on the size of your family, you could spend less than $10 to get the whole gang inside. And kids 13 or younger enter for free!
Is chocolate one of the 5 Best Road Trip Snacks?
Denver area chocoholics gather every October for a tasty and exciting one-day festival at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. The 25,000-square-foot indoor facility packs in over 70 vendors from around the country.
You’ll be in chocolate heaven as you walk past sellers providing various products infused with the star ingredient. In addition to sweets like cakes, truffles, and fudge, they offer chocolate-infused liquor and beer.
And since the festival occurs during harvest season, pumpkin bowling and a free Halloween craft booth are among the activities. You can also win prizes if you enter the apple bobbing or chocolate pudding eating contests. But watching them can be nearly as fun as being a participant.
Parking is free, but you’ll need admission tickets to enter the festival. Kids 12 and under are free. A VIP package is also available, which includes one entry, tasting tickets, and reserved seating at stage events.
#4 Louisville Chocolate, Wine, and Whiskey Festival
If the combination of chocolate, wine, and whiskey sounds tasty, plan to visit Kentucky in early November. It’s a 21-and-over event, so make it a date with your sweetie and leave the kids with a babysitter.
Ticket prices range from $45 to $70 but include great perks. You’ll receive a commemorative wine glass, samples of whiskies and other spirits, and plenty of chocolate. In addition, they’ll be serving boozy milkshakes and candy cocktails, all free with the price of admission!
When you find a whiskey or liquor you enjoy sipping, you can purchase a bottle to take back home. You may also want to buy treats like macaroons or cupcakes to share with your kids. You know they’ll be sad they couldn’t attend.
The event also offers plenty of non-alcoholic drinks to accompany all the delicious sweets. Check out the festival’s fondue fountain and choose various fixings to dip in the luscious chocolatey stream.
Go ahead and indulge even if you can’t get to a festival: Godiva Chocolatier Patisserie Dessert Truffles.
#5 Chocolate Lovers Festival
Since 1993, a three-day Fairfax, Virginia, festival has used chocolate to sweetly draw people together. Held the first full weekend in February, the event is reason enough to plan a multi-day trip to the city. Activities throughout the festival grounds keep you entertained and your belly full.
Admission is free for all ages, but you’ll need to purchase tasting tickets to sample goodies from the various vendors. Tasty treats like candy, cookies, and ice cream are available, but you can also try chocolate-infused drinks.
The “love of chocolate” theme has been the same since the first festival. With a unifying message like that, it’s no wonder this event remains popular with Fairfax residents and thousands of visitors.
Go Ahead and Indulge
Your sweet tooth may be vibrating with excitement at the thought of these delicious events. Chocolate festivals combine the best of sweet confections and fun community gatherings.
So which city will you be visiting to get your fix? It’s possible to travel to all of them for a year’s worth of indulgence. But don’t blame us if you need to add a notch to your belt!
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