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Romantic Willimantic Chocolate Fest
February 8, 2019 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Romantic Willimantic’s 15th annual Chocolate Festival represents one of the most beloved Willimantic events.
Events start on Thursday, Feb 7, with the Stupid Cupid Pub Crawl. Starting at 6 pm, visit 6 of our friendly local pubs for liquor and food specials. It starts at Kerri’s Gallery with beer, food, and a brass band.
Then plan to spend your whole day on Saturday downtown in Romantic Willimantic.
“It’s a wonderful way to spend the day and to support Willimantic,” said Karen Gilbransen, organizer of the Romantic Willimantic Chocolate Festival. “The Chocolate Chip Stroll has so much to do for both children and adults. And it’s just a great way to see your neighbors. Everyone comes out to play, snow or sunshine.”
Here’s Saturday’s itinerary:
The Chocolate Festival begins early as runners of all ages assemble at the First Baptist Church beginning at 8:30 am for the “Cupid Made Me Do It” Urban Scramble, a 2 mile run/walk/slip/slide across Willimantic bridges that starts at 10 am. Register early to get a cupcake and a tshirt, and then…
Enter the “Let Them Eat Cake!” baking competition at the Kerri Gallery between 9-10 am to be judged in the chocolate cake contest. Awards for all ages, and for the best Willimantic-themed cake, plus we all get to bid to take a cake home.
After you Race, head over to the First Congregational Church for free chocolate chip pancakes from 10-12. (Yes, you read that right). You’ll need to have a solid base for all the sweets this afternoon.
Not your cup o’ cocoa? Start your day with a Williwalk Tour of historic Willimantic’s downtown with Bev York at 10, leaving from Rajean’s Gifts. Or open your heart with a Yoga and meditation practice at Bhakti Center at 10. Then grab a coffee at Grounded Coffee for that caffeine kick, and now we have your mind and body ready to hit the streets!
Over 35 businesses open their doors and invite chocoholics of all ages to sample chocolate goodies from 11 to 3 during the Chocolate Chip Stroll. Everyone is invited and there is no charge. You’ll see Model Trains, eat food, enjoy entertainment, and of course there are sales!
Bring your children to enjoy facepainting from Eastern students at STEP/PATH Academy, enjoy crafts at the Children’s Library, and after noon you’ll want to go to the Mill Museum for the Chocolate, Checkers and Chess Tournament.
Stop in to Kerri’s Gallery to hear Cupids Bruce John and Jason Altieri at 12, and while you are there, the competing Cakes will be available for silent auction bids. Sample and buy some Chocolates for home from Bliss Magick. Oh, my. That reminds us: Valentine’s Day is coming! Shop! Shop for others. Shop for yourself. Don’t miss the new marketplace at 34 North Street
Restaurants and merchants will show off their culinary skills all afternoon and into the night. Sample locally made desserts, beer, wine, and Chocolate Milk. The Willimantic Food Coop celebrates their 39th year with 39 Cakes and lots of great music.
The Festival stretches all the way from Limberia Tropical at 1244 Main, to Hosmer Soda on Mountain St, to The Food Coop on Valley Street and down to the Museum at 317 Main St. Have you ever said “enough” to chocolate? You just might.
The Grand Finale is on Thursday, February 14 at the Windham Town Hall at 10 AM when the Romantic Willimantic Cupid will be crowned. The public is encouraged to join us to see who it will be. And to have some chocolate.
For an updated-by-the-minute listing of Romantic Willimantic Chocolate Festival events, visit http://www.willimanticdowntown.org or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/romanticwillimantic/. Programs will be available at participating merchants.