The Kansas Chocolate festival will make Downtown especially sweet on Saturday, Sept. 24. Explore chocolate-themed vendors, taste food truck fare with chocolate infusion, experience chocolate demonstrations from local chefs and Mars Chocolate History Ambassadors and more. The day’s stage program will include seven different opportunities to experience chocolate in new ways, from learning how cacao beans become chocolate bars to a chocolate pudding-eating contest.
"The Kansas Chocolate Festival will offer something for each of the senses. The stage programs will give our guests the chance to learn and grow in their own cooking," said Rosa Cavazos, director of tourism development at Visit Topeka. "We are thrilled that Mars is part of the Topeka community and an integral part of this festival."
Admission to the festival is free. Vendors and food trucks will charge.
The stage program lineup is:
10:30 – 11 a.m. – AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate, made by Mars Chocolate North America, presents “Chocolate: From Bean to Bar.”Understand how chocolate goes from plant to table as a Mars Chocolate History Ambassador explains the process from cocoa bean to chocolate bar.
11:30 a.m. to noon – Scott Nickel, Washburn Tech, presents “Breakfast with Chocolate Scott.” Tempt your breakfast palette at this showcase of a few of your favorite breakfast items with a touch of chocolate.
12:30 – 1 p.m. – Al Struttman from Moburts, Downtown Topeka’s own spice shop, presents “Spices, Herbs, Salts, Oils, Vinegar and Chocolate. Explore the Flavors!” Get tips your palette is sure to enjoy as you learn new pairings and a few simple ways to bring more chocolate flavor into home cooking.
1-1:30 p.m. AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate presents "The History of Chocolate." Discover chocolate's fascinating story with Dave Borghesani, Chocolate History Research Manager.
1:45 – 2:15 p.m. – Chocolate Pudding Eating Contest. This is a recreational competition, not a professional eating challenge.
2:30 – 3 p.m. – Nick Xidis, from Downtown Topeka’s Hazel Hill Chocolate Traditions, presents “Desserts!” Nick will teach some simple and delicious treats to make at home.
3:30 – 4 p.m. – Mars Chocolate North America returns with “Dove Chocolate and S’mores.” Don’t miss this demonstration of the campfire favorite.
“Team Topeka is very excited to be part of the first Kansas Chocolate Festival." said Carrie Lavery, Mars Chocolate Topeka Community Ambassador. “We have some really fun, interactive activities planned and we know it’s going to be a huge success. We’re looking forward to spending the day with our neighbors and sharing with them the pride we have in the Topeka community.”
More exciting announcements about the Kansas Chocolate Festival are forthcoming. For more information, including hotel discounts, go towww.VisitTopeka.com/kschocolate.
Get involved in the festival
Enter the Visit Topeka Chocolate Competition! Submit your favorite chocolate cookie, brownie, cake/cupcake, pie or enter the miscellaneous category. Entries must be brought to the Visit Topeka booth at 8th and Kansas between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Sept. 24. No late entries can be accepted. Cash prizes will be awarded.
There’s still time to register for the Combat Air Museum Winged Foot Chocolate Run. The 5K is a fundraiser for the Combat Air Museum. Online registration is available. Runners will be shuttled to the Festival afterward if they wish.
Join the conversation on social media with #KSChocolate and at the Facebook event page.
Upcoming Visit Topeka events include: Kansas Mariachi Festival, Sept. 16, in Downtown Topeka Kansas Chocolate Festival, Sept. 24, in Downtown Topeka More in October and December, details coming soon. Learn more atVisitTopeka.com/events