The Chocolate Lovers’ Festival provides much-needed funds for non-profit organizations in the Eureka Springs area and Southwest Missouri. The beneficiaries are the Academy of Excellence, Eureka Springs Highlander Athletic Booster Club, Clear Spring School, and the Eureka Springs School 21st Century Community Learning Center After School Program . The festival benefits the Eureka Springs community as well, drawing visitors to motels, restaurants, and shops each year.
Admission will be $12 and $6 for children age six and under. Tickets may be purchased by calling 800-638-7352, emailing Suzanne@eurekaspringschamber.com or Toni@eurekaspringschamber.com or visiting the Chocolate Lovers’ Festival Facebook page
The Chocolate Lovers’ Festival is nationally acclaimed. It has been featured in the national media including Southern Living magazine, and it has been selected as the second-best attraction for Valentine’s Day in the state of Arkansas.
A complete world of chocolate appreciation will be featured at the 10th Annual Chocolate Lovers’ Festival including cakes, cookies, ice cream, multiple dipping fountains, beverages and more. Chocolate novelty items and body products will be on-hand as well. Vendors will showcase and promote their products while offering gourmet and homemade chocolate take-home samples to attendees from organic and household brand names to select boutique labels.
The festival also features several “best of” contests in both Amateur and Professional categories. Best Decorated Cake, Best Candy and Best Dessert will fall under the Professional Contest, while the Amateur Contest Adult Division will award the Best Decorated Cake and Most Creative Dessert. The Amateur Contest Youth Division will present Best Brownie, Best Candy and Best Cookies. This year’s Contest Celebrity Judges are Ken Ketelson, Steve Grant, and Jan Lewandowski. Bios for each judge are available on the festival’s website at eurekachocfest.org.
The exhibitors will have an opportunity to be awarded “best of” as well as they will compete for Most Attractive Exhibitor Booth and the People’s Choice Award for Best Exhibitor Chocolate, decided by the attendees.
And if you want to take the festival home with you, the Chocolate Lovers’ Festival Cookbook, which features 504 chocolate recipes, will be available for purchase on-site for $15. The cookbooks are available for purchase on the Chocolate Lovers’ Festival Facebook page as well.
The Chocolate Lovers’ Festival was established in 2005 as a fundraiser for Clear Spring School by the Clear Spring School Development Committee, a dedicated group of volunteers including school staff and parents. Clear Spring School is a non-profit, accredited independent school in Eureka Springs, Ark. and was established in 1974.
After Clear Spring School stepped down as presenter of the festival in 2008, the Carroll County Board of Realtors took over the event in 2009 for one year before Vacation Rentals, Inc. expressed its interest and was handed the honor in 2010.
Vacation Rentals, Inc. presented the festival until 2014 when they could no longer continue. With time running short and not wanting to see the event disappear, the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce was approached and agreed to take it on. "The Chocolate Lovers' Festival has become a staple in the Valentines weekend festivities and we did not want to see it discontinue" stated Mike Bishop, Chamber President/CEO. "It was important to our business community to keep it going and not lose the momentum it has gained over the past decade".