Get your sweet tooth ready – the 23rd annual City of Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival is this weekend, Feb. 7-8.
Featuring delicious, chocolate fun for both children and adults, the event includes a Taste of Chocolate, a Chocolate Challenge, musical performances, a chocolate movie – “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” – fairy tales, a fire-safety puppet show, face-painting, a Chocolate Caper mock trial, cupcake-decorating, magic, juggling and open houses in historic buildings.
A Chocolate Express will provide free, shuttle service between event locations. It’ll run Saturday, Feb. 7, from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 8, from 11:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The fun begins Saturday at Fire Station 3, at 4081 University Drive, with the annual, Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast and Bake Sale, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feast on regular or chocolate-chip pancakes, plus sausage, coffee, juice and milk. Cost is $7, adults; $4, children ages 4-10. Children 3 and under eat free with a paying adult (limit two children per adult). Face-painting will be available.
The Taste of Chocolate will be held Saturday, Feb. 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 8, from noon-4 p.m., on both floors of the Old Town Hall, 3999 University Drive (corner of Main Street and University Drive).
Attendees may feast on a vast array of chocolate cakes, chocolate candies and bars, chocolate-covered strawberries, fudge and ice cream. There’ll even be chocolate fountains into which people may dip fruit, cream-filled doughnut holes or marshmallows. Admission is free; visitors buy pogs for $1 each and then browse around the vendors’ tables to check out the wide array of chocolate treats being offered. When something catches their fancy, they pay for it in pogs.
There’s also the Chocolate Challenge competition to see who can make the most beautiful and creative chocolate sculptures, cakes and cupcakes. It’s held at the Nutrition Kitchen, 3950 University Drive, and runs Feb. 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Feb. 8, from noon-4 p.m.
Both professionals and amateurs participate, and judges and visitors judge them in various categories. Donated cakes and other items will be open for silent-auction bidding through Feb. 8 at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $1/adult; children under 18 are free.
For a complete list of events, plus their times and addresses, go to www.chocolatefestival.net.
Where to Park
Free parking is available at the following locations, with handicapped parking offered at all sites, except for Sager Avenue:
Bank of America, 10440 Main St. (accessible from Route 236 and North Street).
City Hall, 10455 Armstrong St. (accessible from Route 123/Chain Bridge Road and George Mason Boulevard).
City of Fairfax Regional Library, 10360 North St. (accessible from University Drive and Old Lee Highway).
East Street parking lot (accessible from Route 236/Main Street and East Street).
Fairfax County Courthouse Garage B, 4400 Chain Bridge Road (accessible from Page Avenue).
Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center, 10209 Main St.
Fire Station 3, 4081 University Drive.
Old Town Plaza, 3955 Chain Bridge Road (accessible from Route 123/Chain Bridge Road and University Drive).
Old Town Village (behind Pacer’s, 10427 North St.) Open at noon Saturday and all day Sunday; (accessible from University Drive).
Sager Avenue parking lot (accessible from Sager Avenue and University Drive).