Treat Your Valentine to the Chocolate Lovers’ Festival This Saturday

Fountains of chocolate overflow at the 8th annual Chocolate Lovers’ Festival on Feb. 11 in Eureka Springs, which is why my two boys are sure we should go. I have to admit that I went to the Chocolate Festival a few years ago to take photos for work and I felt really guilty that my husband and kids weren’t with me (although, let the record show, I did bring home a goodie box).

If you haven’t been, I promise it’s worth the trip. Pretzels, marshmallows, fresh strawberries, pineapples, and more are available for dipping in the four chocolate fountains. You can expect more than 16,000 pieces of chocolate to satiate your sweet tooth, and 34 vendors. You get a five-by-five box (like a personal pan pizza box) to take goodies home with you to savor the experience even longer.

Chocolate sampling takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $10 and $6 for children age 6 and younger. It’s a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the family or just with your special sweetheart. A guitarist and a barbershop quartet will entertain.

Competitions in amateur and professional categories are also featured. You can enter a contest for Best Decorated Cake, Best Candy and Best Dessert in the professional category. The adult amateur divisions are Best Decorated Cake and Most Creative Dessert. The amateur contest youth division is Best Brownie, Best Candy and Best Cookies. Judging by celebrity judges Judi Hicks, Kat Robinson, Mike Bishop, Steve Grant, and Tim Tibbs, starts at 9 a.m. with winners announced at noon. You get a say too in the People’s Choice Award for Best Exhibitor Chocolate.

I have a weakness for cookbooks in addition to chocolate. So there’s no doubt I’ll want to purchase the Chocolate Lovers’ Festival Cookbook, which features 504 chocolate recipes, and will be available for purchase for $15. You can buy the cookbook on the festival Facebook page as well.

Tickets may be purchased by calling 888-465-4753, by emailing, or by visiting the Chocolate Lovers’ Festival Facebook page. The event takes place at the Best Western Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center.

And if you feel bad for eating all that chocolate, give yourself a break because you’re also doing a good thing. The proceeds benefit these local non-profit organizations: The Academy of Excellence, Eureka Springs School/Main Stage After School Kids, Galena High School Family and consumer Science, and Exeter High School FFA.

It’s fun to indulge every now and then and this is a good event for it. See you there! I’ll be there early because my 6-year-old has a birthday party to go to that afternoon. Thank goodness it’s at a gymnastics place, where he can work off his sugar high!
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