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Fairfax Chocolate Festival 2005

It being a lovely day, we decided to go to the City of Fairfax Chocolate Festival. The festival usually happens on the first weekend in February -- no doubt making a good primer for all the Valentine's gifts.

The festival is held in Old Town Fairfax near the intersection of Rte 236 and Chain Bridge Rd. The actual events take place in several government buildings: The Old Town Hall, City Hall, the Regional Library, and the Court House. All the venues are within easy walking distance of each other as well as the designated parking lots. I love the fact that the festival is held in these old buildings, which have a charm all their own.

We got there about 11:45 on Saturday, which was the first day of the festival. Initially, I was concerned that parking was going to be a problem, and after passing by the Old town Hall (where the Taste of Chocolate was taking place) and seeing a long line of people waiting to get in, I was sure that parking was going to be a hassle. However, much to my surprise, parking was easy to find, especially with the helpful parking map on the chocolate festival website.

After parking, we decided that the Taste of Chocolate had to be our first stop, seeing as it was the star attraction. We joined the long line of people waiting to get in, but the line was moving fast so we didn't mind waiting. It helped that the weather was gorgeous: sunny and 50. By the time we got in (about 15 mins of waiting), we were eagerly anticipating the chocolate.

The tables inside the Old Town Hall were on two floors. Even with that, the number of vendors seemed a mite disappointing to me. I was expecting a bigger turnout and a lot more variety. There were just over a dozen vendors there and the place was packed with people. However, there was still room to move around and buying something never took more than a minute or two.

After sampling a bunch of different items, I decided that my favorite vendors were Victoria's Cakery and the Watergate Pastry Shop. The former had a great chocolate cake and a white chocolate with rasberries. You must try them especially the pure chocolate one! Watergate pastries has delicious tarts and pastries: the kiwi fruit tart was awesome.

After the Taste of Chocolate, we went to the Chocolate Challenge (at the City Hall) which had some nice chocolate art there, but once again the number of entries were disappointing. One of the poor chocolate sculptures (which won the 1st prize in "Professional Sculpture" had broken down by the time we got there. What seemed strange was that they charged admission to enter the Chocolate Challenge -- it was only $1 but still.

One of the more surprising events was the Chocolate Capers in the Old Courthouse. We went there 'cause my nephews were along and though they would enjoy it. It turned out to be entertaining for the adults as well. The plays are put on by the Fairfax Bar Association. Apparently they do this pretty regularly, especially for elementary schools. The play was a twist on Jack and the Beanstalk: a criminal trial against Jack for stealing various items from the giant. The play was well done and the actors certainly were having fun doing them. All in all, worth going to if you have kids along.

From what I heard, some of the vendors at the Taste of Chocolate were running out of items late afternoon on Saturday. So, it seems like the best time to go is early on the first day of the festival. Remember that for next year.

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» Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival 2006 from Hot Chocolate
So, the City of Fairfax is holding its annual Chocolate Lovers Festival on February 4-5, 2006. Last year's festival, the first I attended, was fun. It was pretty packed but we had luckily gotten there early enough that it wasn't... [Read More]

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