Denver’s combination of stunning mountain vistas and cosmopolitan attractions have made it one of the top destinations in the Rocky Mountains. Visitors to the Mile High City will love its proximity to outdoor adventures as well as cutting edge craft beer and culinary scenes. Travelers should make sure to stop by Larimer Square, which is the location of Denver's original settlement. It contains numerous boutiques, niche restaurants, clubs, and entertainment venues that are popular among visitors and locals alike.
The Colorado Chocolate Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary bringing the finest chocolates and treats to Denver on May 12-13. The event will take place at the Denver Merchandise Mart, about four miles north of downtown. Attendees will encounter a chocolate wonderland complete with over 80 vendors spread across 30,000 square feet, selling almost every chocolate infused food and treat imaginable. The event will also feature speakers, live music, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, contests, and a kid’s area with games and activities. The Chocolatier Championships is the event's main competition, with culinary professionals competing for top honors in five categories including Best Toffee, Best Chocolate Design, and more. We got the chance to interview Dana Cain, a representative of the event, to learn more about this sweet celebration.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
DC: This is our 10th year for the Colorado Chocolate Festival! We are excited about our 10-year anniversary!
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
DC: Typically we see between 4,000 – 7,000 attendees.
RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?
DC: We get a lot of women and some families, but everyone is welcome to attend.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
DC: We are the largest chocolate festival in the Rocky Mountain Region, and we showcase many of the best chocolatiers. Everyone gets to sample chocolates and other foods before buying, and the vendors love it because, with our Taste Tickets, we get to pay them for the thousands of samples they provide to the public.
RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.
DC: The main attraction is the chocolate, of course – but we also have ongoing events on the main stage, ranging from fun contests like the Chocolate Crown competition and the chocolate pudding eating contest to more “serious” events like the chocolate and wine pairings, chocolate and coffee pairings, etc.
Our centerpiece event is the Chocolatier Championships, where regional chocolatiers compete for certificates and cash prizes in several categories, including Best Truffle, Best Fudge, Best Toffee, Best Chocolate Design, etc.
RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?
DC: We are so excited to have the Hazel Miller Trio performing on Friday night. She is the Queen of blues and jazz in Colorado! In her honor, we are also having a Friday night hazelnut celebration with hazelnut truffle giveaways to all of the attendees.
RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?
DC: It’s all about the chocolate! Dozens and dozens of booths handing out chocolate and other treats!
RAL: What kind of environment can attendees expect?
DC: The Denver MeMart is a nice, carpeted, well-lit, family-friendly environment. The show floor includes the main stage, a dining area and an activity area for kids with bounce houses, human hamster balls, and free face painting.
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?
DC: The Denver Merchandise Mart is attached to the Comfort Inn Central, which has great rates.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
DC: The Colorado Chocolate Festival is an experience you will never forget! Most of our attendees come back every year and have made it a Mother’s Day Weekend tradition! We invite you to start Mother’s Day early, and join us on Friday and Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend!
For more information about the Colorado Chocolate Festival, please visit the event website.