Named the “Coolest Small Town in America,” by Budget Travel in 2011, Lewisburg is a West Virginia travel destination you won’t want to miss. It’s an ideal spot to plan a vacation, and home to one of the four Carnegie Halls in the world. Visitors will love the city’s historic downtown area, growing artisan scene, unique accommodations, and proximity to outdoor activities.
The Lewisburg Chocolate Festival has been the top chocolate themed event in the region for the past 11 years. It gathers more than 30 of the top chocolate vendors in America to share their unique chocolate creations in a fun and interactive environment. Attendees will get the opportunity to sample chocolate treats and watch demonstrations from celebrity chefs. The event is perfect for the entire family and children will love activities like face painting, balloon animals, and more. The festival is the primary fundraiser for the United Way of Greenbrier Valley, which works to improve the lives of people in the community. ResortsandLodges.com got the opportunity to interview Erin Hurst, Executive Director of the United Way of Greenbrier Valley, to learn more about this unique event.
RAL: How long has the event been running?
EH: This is the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival's 11th year.
RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?
EH: We're up to about 7,000 attendees annually.
RAL: What makes this event unique?
EH: The Lewisburg Chocolate Festival brings together some of our favorite things in life—music, shopping, street performances, and chocolate! The Lewisburg West Virginia event has grown from offering 5,000 tastings to 35,000 in just 10 years.
Today more than 30 chocolate vendors from around the country share their chocolate delicacies while celebrity chefs demonstrate some exciting desserts and dishes. And that's not all! The event also features a mousse eating competition, Chocolate Chase 10K, an “All Things Chocolate” Bake-Off, and chocolate themed children’s activities.
Part of the charm of the festival is its location. Beautiful and historic downtown Lewisburg is one of the premiere tourist destinations on the East Coast. The walkable picturesque downtown area features more than 40 independent shops and restaurants, all in a National Register Historic District. The area has been featured in some national magazines and newspapers and in 2011 was named the Coolest Small Town in America by Budget Travel magazine. It was the only West Virginia town to receive this top honor.
RAL: What activities will patrons find at the event?
EH: We have a variety of activities including:
Professional chef demonstrations
Free showing of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
RAL: Will there be any Guest Appearances?
EH: Glenn Singer will perform two of his el Gleno Grande magic shows and Greenbrier East High School's 2nd Block Rock will play a few tunes after Black King Coal. We also have Leen Kim, Assistant Pastry Chef at The Omni Homestead Resort and Amy Mills, Executive Pastry Chef at The Greenbrier Sporting Club hosting chocolate-themed demos.
RAL: What dining options will be available?
EH: Downtown restaurants will offer chocolate-themed entrees and desserts all weekend.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
EH: A great place to start is checking out the list on our visitors center website, where you can find all sorts of lovely places to lay your head.
RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?
EH: Yes! Give Susan a call at Fairfield Inn & Suites. They're offering specials for festival-goers.
RAL: What does this event mean to the community?
EH: The Lewisburg Chocolate Festival is one event that folks near and far look forward to every year. It means coming together as a community, having a great time, enjoying sweet treats, and supporting a local cause.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
EH: Absolutely. The town nearly doubles in size during the festival weekend, which means more people are staying in our hotels, shopping in our great downtown shops, and eating at our delicious restaurants!
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?
EH: Yes, this event is the signature fundraiser for the United Way of Greenbrier Valley, a local United Way serving Greenbrier, Monroe, and Pocahontas Counties.
For more information about the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival, please visit the event website.