The love of chocolate dates back to 2,000 B.C. 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 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, D.C. area. Note, the largest and longest running festival is the Chocolate Lovers Festival in Fairfax, Virginia — and don't miss this guide to the best chocolate stores in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia.
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The annual festival features a taste of the specialties of local chocolatiers, with live entertainment by Adagio School of Dance, The Sunshine Gang, and flutist Sharyn Byer. The McLean Chocolate Festival is Sponsored by the Rotary Club of McLean. Proceeds benefit many local organizations.
January 27, 2019, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean, VA.
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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.
February 1-3, 2018
Downtown Historic Fairfax, 10455 Armstrong Street, Fairfax, VA.
Friday, Liquid Chocolate only from 6-8 p.m., Saturday - 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sunday noon - 4 p.m.
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Sponsored by the Bel Air Downtown Alliance, adults 21 or older may participate in a “pub crawl” event for beer and chocolate enthusiasts. The $45 ticket includes a drink at each pub, discounted food menu, chance to win a raffle and more. Past participating restaurants have included 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.
March 2, 2019,1-7 p.m.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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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. (Date and Location to Be Announced).