A new food fest in Cranberry promises chocolate in many, many forms -- fudge to fashion, candles to beer -- Feb. 22 and 23. That weekend the Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau's Celebration of Chocolate brings together a bunch of interesting businesses from the North to the Pittsburgh Marriott North in Cranberry.
There will be demonstrations including making chocolate; melting, filling and hand-making chocolates; and more. There's a fashion show featuring clothing and accessories in shades of brown, chocolate-basket raffles and chocolate-themed children's activities presented by Butler County Community College.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. that Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, kids can meet the chocolately character Willy Wonka.
The tentative schedule (it's still in the works):
The Chop Shop 1 p.m. demo by chef/owner Bill Atkinson
Tin Man Sweets 3 p.m.
Eye Kandy 5 p.m. fashion show
Freedom Farms 6 p.m. chocolate cooking smackdown
Restaurant Echo Noon demo by owner/chef Brian Hammond
Zanella Milling 1 p.m. Chocolate-chip pancakes
Speckled Hen 2 p.m.
Businesses participating with chocolate-themed displays include:
Angelic Imports (sampling and selling interesting Goufrais German chocolate)
Ashgrove Soaps, Sundries, and Beeswax Ornaments
Butler County Federated Library System (with "I Geek Chocolate" stickers)
Cranberry Township Historical Society (presenting samples by the second-generation "Fudge Lady" who operates the fudge stand on Freedom Road, established in 1950)
It Works! (sampling chocolate protein shakes and brownies)
Nicolette's Tailor Shop & Specialty Gifts (sampling Divani chocolate from Foxburg and other treats)
North Country Brewing Co. (pouring samples of its Liquid Love Chocolate Stout and another brew)
Speckled Hen Chocolate Co. (offering hand-dipped-in-chocolate raspberries and strawberries, pecan turtles, pretzel rods and boxes of assorted chocolates)
The Enchanted Olive
The Pampered Chef
Tin Man Sweets
Zeke's Coffee (chocolate-covered espresso beans and other treats)
Purchase a $5 "golden ticket" from Willy Wonka for a chance to win a trip to either the Spa at the Hotel Hershey or Hersheypark.
The celebration runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 22, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sun., Feb. 23. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and younger, and all attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for Butler County food banks.
For more information, call 724-234-4619 or visit the Website.
Divani Chocolatier photo (divanichocoloate.com)