The love of chocolate dates back to 2000 BC where it was first cultivated in Central America. Cacao plants found in the tropical rainforests were first brewed into an invigorating drink. Over the years, chocolate evolved into a wide range of treats and a more than 4 billion dollar industry. What better way to explore and satisfy your tastes than attend a chocolate festival. Here is a guide to some great events in the Washington DC area. Note, the largest and longest running festival is the Chocolate Lovers Festival in Fairfax, Virginia.
- McLean Chocolate Festival – January 28, 2018, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. McLean High School, 1633 Davidson Rd., McLean, VA. The annual festival features a taste of the specialties of local chocolatiers. Live entertainment by Ukelele Phil, the Hula Kids, Mike Mitchell and the Wildman’s. The McLean Chocolate Festival is Sponsored by the Rotary Club of McLean. Proceeds benefit many local organizations.
- Fairfax Chocolate Lovers Festival - February 2-4, 2018, Friday, Liquid Chocolate only from 6-8 p.m., Saturday - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday noon - 4 p.m. Downtown Historic Fairfax, 10455 Armstrong Street Fairfax, VA. The annual two-day event is a community favorite and features The Chocolate Challenge, an arts contest featuring breathtaking art made completely of chocolate. The festival is a great Valentine’s Day event with chocolate vendors offering samples and selling their products at the Taste of Chocolate. Other activities include the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast, featuring chocolate chip pancakes, historic re-enactments, children's activities, a craft show and more. The Chocolate Lovers Festival was developed in 1992 as a joint effort of the City of Fairfax, Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Fairfax Coalition, Downtown Fairfax Merchants Association and George Mason University.
- Chocolate Lovers Affair - February 2018 (Date to Be Announced) Prince Frederick, MD. The Valentines Day event in Calvert County, Maryland satisfies your chocolate cravings and includes live entertainment, live and silent auctions, and more. Proceeds benefit the local Chamber of Commerce.
- Bel Air Chocolate, Brew and Wine Tour – March 4, 2018,1-7 p.m. Sponsored by the Bel Air Downtown Alliance, adults 21 or older may participate in a “pub crawl” event for beer and chocolate enthusiasts. Ticket includes a drink at each pub, discounted food menu, chance to win a raffle and more. Participating restaurants include: Looney’s Pub, MaGerk’s Pub, Sean Bolan’s Irish Pub, Main Street Tower, Black Eyed Suzie’s, Bel Air Liquors and Independent Brewing Co. Chocolate from La Cakerie, Flavor Cupcakery, Sunny Day Cafe and Coffee Coffee.
- DC Chocolate Festival – April 2018 (Date and Location to Be Announced). The festival is sponsored by the Chocolate House (1904 18th St NW Washington, D.C., 202-903-0346), a boutique specializing in artisan chocolate from around the world. The event features tastings of a variety of chocolate products, classes by chocolate experts and a silent auction to benefit DC Central Kitchen’s Culinary Job Training Program. At the festival you'll be able to eat and learn about chocolate, and meet chocolate vendors.