Totally Sweet

If sampling artisan chocolates while sipping a chocolate martini and sniffing a chocolate-scented candle sounds like almost enough chocolate to satisfy your craving, then you need to check out the Colorado Chocolate Festival. According to show organizer Dana Cain, tonight’s preview celebration is “a good date night or ladies’ night out. There’s a big wine-tasting area, live jazz, and entertainment from the Handsome Little Devils, a steam-punk circus act.”

The festival proper runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow and is more family-oriented. Attractions include a Mother’s Day gift market; a Carnaval du Chocolat with a bounce house, clowns and games; a pudding-eating contest; and a chocolatier championship. Chocolate therapist Julie Pech will be on hand to teach the sweet-toothed masses about chocolate and wine pairings, and actress Denise Nickerson, who played Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, will be signing autographs. “This is probably, definitely the most chocolate that there’s ever been in one place in Denver before,” Cain says. “There’s more festival this year, with more chocolate, more wine on Friday night and more fun!”

Admission to tonight’s gala, which goes from 7 to 10 p.m., is $12; tomorrow’s entry fee is $7, $3 for kids ages five to twelve, and free for those under five. The festival is at the Denver Merchandise Mart, 451 East 58th Avenue at I-25. For more information, visit or call 303-347-8252.
Fri., May 8, 7-10 p.m.; Sat., May 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 2009