Chocolate cakes, candies, fudges and other sweet confections float around a chocolate lover’s paradise—or something Fairfax- natives know as the annual Chocolate Lover’s Festival. From March 2-3 the festival will return to Old Town Historic Fairfax and bring wafts of sugary-sweet cocoa with it.
For the past 20 years, the event has drawn thousands of people from all over the Northern Va. area. Dozens of vendors sell an assortment of chocolate-flavored confections at their main event, a ‘Taste of Chocolate.”
This year, the main event will be held at Old Town Hall, right off of University Drive, a short walk or CUE bus ride for Mason students. Last year, this event included a wide range of chocolate concoctions, including chocolate-flavored cotton candy and chocolate-covered Twinkies.
One of the committee members from the City of Fairfax, Chris Cohen, believes that the annual Chocolate Lover’s Festival caters to more than just the average family or couple— it caters to the student population at Mason as well.
“[The Chocolate Lover’s Festival] is a little different than most other festivals. This is more of a community event, where there are multiple organizations that participate in multiple events and bring something fun to the City of Fairfax—and for Mason students to taste and enjoy,” Cohen said.
New to the festival this year is a Chik-Fil-A “Spirit Night.” On Feb. 28, the Fairfax Circle Chik-Fil-A will donate 20 percent of a person’s purchase to the Chocolate Lover’s Festival Community Grant when customers mention the “Chocolate Lover’s Festival” between 4-9 p.m. The fundraiser will help raise money for local non-profit organizations.
Every year, money is raised and presented to non-profits. This helps the event not only become a community event but a charitable one as well. The 2013 recipients of the Chocolate Lover’s Festival Community Grant include: the City of Fairfax Fire Department to support the Citizen’s Fire Academy, the City of Fairfax, the Young at Heart Senior Center to help purchase fitness equipment and support a healthy lifestyle and Shelter House Inc. to serve homeless families victims of domestic violence.
Also at the event will be the Fairfax Kiwanis club, who will be collecting non-perishable food items for their Meals for Young Minds program, which supports local students by providing meals for the weekend to those who cannot afford them.
Some of the events at the Chocolate Lover’s Festival include a small fee to enter, but many of the events are free and open to the public. The City of Fairfax has even included free direct transportation to and from the various event locations.
“This is not just a Chocolate Lover’s Festival, this is an event for everyone to come and enjoy what these chocolate vendors have to offer as a community,” Cohen said.