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Chocolate Festivals for the Ultimate Chocoholics

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Not satisfied with simply purchasing delicious chocolate goodies at the local store or, for the true connoisseur, at a premier chocolate shop?  If a bigger, better, more chocolatey experience is what you crave, head to one of the many chocolate festivals taking place across the nation this year.  These cities truly know how to celebrate the world’s greatest food group.

San Francisco, California

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Nobody knows chocolate quite like Ghirardelli and San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square takes pride in this.  Celebrating their love for all things chocolate, the 16th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival sits at the heart of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, which first came into being in 1893.  Take your addiction to new levels with chocolate delicacies, gourmet creations, ice cream sundae eating contests and an extensive spread of chocolate vendors on hand to quickly whisk you off into the biggest sugar coma of your life.  Be sure to head out to the golden coast for the weekend of September 10-11, 2011.

Winter Park, Colorado

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Situated in the picturesque setting of Village at Winter Park Resort, the Winter Park Chocolate Festival almost gives you a slight Bavarian feel with their peaked mountains mingling with cocoa delights.  Details are still emerging about what to expect at this year’s fest, but last year kicked off with a special Friday night screening of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that was hosted by Denise Nickerson, the original Violet Beauregard from the film.  As the weekend charged on patrons entered into pudding eating contests, learned the art of making truffles and became experts at pairing up wine and chocolate.  This year’s festival takes place Saturday, June 25, 2011.

Burlington, Wisconsin

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This dairy state may be known for its cheese, but they just may be the next chocolate hot spot.  At this mid-West locale, expect lots of chefs, wine, games, a carnival, music and of course, chocolate.  On top of all that don’t miss the chocolate Olympics, Chocolate Experience tent, chef demonstrations and for the kiddies, a petting zoo, Monday parade and a construction truck display with a new “touch a truck” event.  Wisconsin is taking festival fun to new levels with their Chocolate Festival.  Start planning your trip for the long weekend of May 27-30, 2011.

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

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If you can’t wait until Valentine’s Day for your fix, sprint, fly or drive over to the Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center for the 7th Annual Chocolate Lover’s Festival 2011.  Once inside this glorious festival you’ll find chocolate dipping fountains, samplings, seminars and “Best Of” contests.  To make it an epic event, party the evening away at the St. Valentine’s Ball.  All this awesome chocolate goodness can be yours if you head out to Arkansas on Saturday, February 12, 2011.

New York, New York

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No one does chocolate with more style than New York.  At this swanky festival you’ll be mesmerized by endless chocolate mixed with theatrics and, what else, a fashion show.  The date and details haven’t been set in stone yet for this year’s show, but last year’s show boasted of being the largest chocolate show in the United States.  With more than 65 vendors on hand, book signings by award-winning authors, demonstrations by world-renowned chocolatiers and activities for the kids to burn off their sugar highs, this event is for the chocolate die-hard.  The 14th Annual Chocolate Show in New York will take place in November at the Altman Building & Metropolitan Pavilion.

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