From France’s Salon du Chocolat to Italy’s Eurochocolate, delve into a bucket-list worthy world of all things chocolate with our chocolate festival guide below!
What is a Chocolate Festival?
A place where chocolate lovers unite to celebrate life’s sweetest pleasures for a day of guilt-free choco indulgence! These chocolate conventions have everything related to chocolate you can imagine. So chocolate tasting stalls, workshops, choco art and installations, parades, street performances and what not! It’s every chocolate lover’s paradise. And for one whole day, you don’t have to feel too guilty because everyone around you is just as much of an addict as you are!
Most Popular Chocolate Festivals Around the World
1. Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival
The Ghirardelli chocolate festival is an annual event that takes place in California. It features exotic chocolate creations and baking demonstrations. They also have a chocolate lounge, live music and plenty of tasting samples! Additionally, you’ll find a chocolate festival tradition – the earthquake ice-cream sundae eating contest! This requires competitors to eat an enormous sundae with whipped cream, syrup and other toppings, all without using their hands! Now, what part of that does not sound good?! So for anyone interested, it takes place on the 8th and 9th of September in San Francisco, California.
2. Paris Chocolate Festival – Salon du Chocolat
It is one of the biggest chocolate events with visitors from all over the world, coming together for the love of chocolate. This festival is on from October 31st to November 4th of this year. It’s also the oldest with its first event in 1993. The fest also offers fun activities like samplings, live demos and book signings with pastry chef authors. They also have a workshop where you can learn to combine chocolate with traditional Japanese cuisine to create exotic desserts. And their all-time popular event – the chocolate fashion show! Clothes made entirely out of chocolate? Say no more. *adds it to my bucket list*
3. I Love Chocolate Fest – Bethpage Restoration
At this annual chocolate festival that takes place in Old Bethpage Village Restoration, expect the unexpected. They offer a wide variety of chocolate in all types, shapes and forms you could ever imagine! What makes this festival a must-visit, is their unique desserts. Chocolate-covered bacon, balsamic vinegar infused with dark chocolate, chocolate-covered crickets (yikes!), chocolate-stuffed wontons and empanadas. They also conduct a chocolate speed-eating donut contest where you can win a giant marshmallow kebab! And if these aren’t enough reasons to visit this place, here’s some more! You can also learn about the best chocolate and wine pairings, buy chocolate scented soaps, lotions and chocolate themed jewelry!
4. Chocolate Expo Long Island
The chocolate expo is the largest chocolate event in the US. It has more than 90 vendors offering their exquisite chocolatey creations for sale and tasting! The vendors include artisanal chocolatiers, candy shops, bakeries, specialty food producers, wineries and distilleries. It also features celebrity appearances, dance parties, music and laser light shows. Activities include face painting and cookie and donut decorating! So save your dates for March 5th, 2018 if you’re interested! Apart from Long Island, this chocolate expo also takes place in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
5. Chocolate Festival Chicago
A rustic festival where you can paint with chocolate, go on a chocolate scavenger hunt, get creative with chocolate playdough and play chocolate pudding pictionary! Other attractions include a chocolate demo tent and pie-eating contests. And don’t miss out on their unusual treats like chocolate pudding pie pops and burgers with chocolate sauce! So if you are in the Chicago area, head to historic Downtown Long Grove on May 18th to experience chocolate heaven.
6. Chocolate Fest Burlington
At this chocolate festival, you get to feel and live like a kid again! From chef demonstrations and cookie decorating to fireworks and even a petting zoo, there’s lots to see and do! Other activities include mining for gems in chocolate, live entertainment, carnival game booths and rides. And it takes places in Wisconsin in the month of May.
7. Oakdale Chocolate Festival
Apart from the choco-filled activities, it also has other fun stuff like classic car shows, local band music, arts and crafts. The Oakdale festival also has plenty of savory booths. And these sell giant onion rings, sausages and hot dogs for non-chocolate lovers accompanying their chocoholic friends or family! The two day event will be held on May 19th and 20th of this year in Oakdale, California.
8. NZ Chocolate Festival
A chocolate wonderland featuring the country’s finest chocolatiers, unique handcrafted creations and delectable chocolate desserts. Also, watch experts create a stunning show-piece made completely out of chocolate! You can also make your own personalized chocolate bar at the chocolate factory! This chocolate fest happens in Wellington, New Zealand during the month of August.
9. Montreal Chocolate Festival
Je T’Aime En Chocolat – Montreal’s annual chocolate fair, a free event, has pastries & hot chocolate demos, classes and intricate choco art sculptures. But sadly, this three-day Canadian festival won’t be happening this year. However, a return has been announced for February, 2019. You can also learn to make the Montreal Chocolate festival’s popular white chocolate cocktail here. And taste all sorts of yummy chocolate goods, from macarons and meringues to truffles and fudge!
10. Lewisburg Chocolate Festival
This choco fest has fun attractions like edible art works, screenings of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and photobooths. And not to forget their most popular activities – the mousse eating contest and chocolate bake-off! The festival also features a fancy choco-themed brunch with waffles with honey pecans, chocolate mousse, chocolate bacon and more! Other gourmet goodies at this festival include triple white chocolate parfait, panna cotta, bittersweet chocolate mousse and milk chocolate chantilly. And don’t be surprised if you run into Willy Wonka himself while you’re there!
11. Perugia Chocolate Festival – Eurochocolate
Eurochocolate, Italy’s annual chocolate festival, is a free admission event and one of Europe’s biggest chocolate conventions. One can experience chocolate in so many ways at this event! From choco-themed events to tasting tours, shows, cultural events and even a chocolate spa!
12. Northwest Chocolate Festival
A fun-filled chocolate festival where manufacturers, bakers and exhibitors from all across the world showcase their stunning creations. It also has workshops and seminars by professionals on various topics. They include the history of cocoa, chocolate & coffee sensory evaluation, wine and chocolate pairings and the fundamentals of chocolate! So basically, all the chocolate 101 you need in your life! You also get to taste unique flavored chocolate bars like pumpkin & caramel, mint & orange, mocha and lavender! So visit the festival on November 11 and 12th, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.
13. Hawaii Chocolate Festival
The Big Island Chocolate Festival is an annual fundraiser in Hawaii where you can sip, savor and eat your heart out! What you get to experience at this cacao festival are, lectures, demonstrations, a cacao bean tatste-off and various sampling items. A silent auction and a dance floor with exceptional music is also a part of this two-day chocolate fest. So it will be held on April 27th and 28th in Kohala Coast, Hawaii.
14. Perth Chocolate Festival
The Perth Chocolate and Gin Street Fest, Scotland, is a place entirely devoted to chocolate and gin! Stalls at this convention showcase the finest gin, gin-infused desserts and even a chocolate and gin pairing workshops. So it’s a must-visit for gin and chocolate lovers alike! And the event is usually held in November, till the end of December as a part of Perth’s annual winter festival.
15. Maitland Coffee & Chocolate Festival
If you’re a chocoholic and a coffee addict, this place is your dreamland! Local chocolatiers, baristas and roasters demonstrate and showcase their delicious creations at this lively festival each year. You can also enjoy various workshops like cake decorating, coffee roasting, cooking with coffee and live music. This chocolate fair is held during August in New South Wales, Australia.
So that was our guide on the best chocolate festivals in the world! And which one will you be attending? Tell us by tweeting @shilpa1ahuja! Also, if you’re visiting any choco fests, share your pictures with us on Instagram or Twitter and we’ll retweet and feature them here! 😀
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Nishita is a Staff Writer/ Journalist at ShilpaAhuja.com. She is a graduate of National Institute of Fashion Technology and has a degree in leather design. A lover of all things fashion, she writes about everything from beauty, hair and lifestyle to fashion trends and how-to’s. Her area of expertise is outfit ideas but being fresh out of college, she also loves writing about college fashion. Her new found love of baking is currently taking over her life, making her write about all things chocolate and easy recipes. With a flair for sketching and a great eye for detail, she’s previously designed leather garments for brands like Diesel and Salsa. When she’s not writing, she’s busy reading extremely sappy Nicholas Spark’s novels, sewing clothes and listening to some indie rock. Also super passionate about photography, she loves portraits and wildlife photography – a habit turned love that formed with the amount of traveling she did as a teenager. As a girl who grew up with books and movies like Pride & Prejudice, her love for period fashion is huge. And being curly haired, she’s always on a constant hunt for solutions to problems that come with having ringlets and loves sharing them with people through her articles. For feedback and questions, email [email protected] or connect with her on twitter @ni95.