Photo by Kumbe Hwang

Clouds, wind and drizzles didn’t stop locals and visitors from attending the Chocolate Lover’s Festival in Fairfax City from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.on Saturday and Sunday.

The Chocolate Lover’s Festival started off with the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast. The Kiwanis Club of Fairfax is an international organization founded to help those less fortunate.

The organization helps disabled youth and students from financially unstable families throughout the U.S. Kiwanis reaches out to youth in foreign countries, like El Salvador, who cannot pay for vaccinations and provides them with medical supplies and assistance.

“This program helps children that are less fortunate not only in Fairfax, but in third world countries as well,” said Kiwanis President Andy Deems. “Helping out with these events not only helps those in need, but gives an opportunity to the volunteers to help out and be more aware of what is going on in reality.”

This year, the Kiwanis won the grant for the festival and will receive a portion of the money made during the festival.

The donations and grant money will be used to produce food packets and is given to students who receive reduced lunches during the week but may go hungry on the weekends, according to Deems.

Parents, grandparents, friends and children strolled into Fire Station #3 at 9 a.m. for breakfast, which continued until 1 p.m. Kiwanis and local high school volunteers served pancakes and beverages and conducted face-painting sessions for children.

Exhibits throughout Fairfax City were open to the public, with more treats than usual. Cakes were on display while cupcakes and chocolate delicacies were sold to hungry customers.

“I came here last year,” said 4-year-old Jenny Sanchez. “I really like it. The chocolates are yummy and I got a unicorn, too.”

Like others who attended, Sanchez and her parents spent most of their time admiring the chocolates, both extravagant and classic.

The festival was not only about chocolate. There were unexpected events, like a glass musical by Jamey Turner, who has been working with crystal glasses as instruments since he was 6.

His outstanding performance ranged from the classics of Beethoven to the heartwarming songs of Tennessee.

Other activities included mock trials, finger printing by the Fairfax County Sherriff’s Office and open houses all over Old Town Fairfax.

Families had opportunities to learn about history, decorating cupcakes and hands on activities during the festival. Children seemed to favor the face-painting and of course, the chocolate.

The Fairfax City Chocolate Lover’s Festival gave commuters and newcomers a chance to enjoy a relaxing weekend with friends and family while also giving a taste of Fairfax, its history and the community it has grown to be.