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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

8th annual Chocolate Festival back at Fairchild


One event that I look forward to every year is the International Chocolate Festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. It's back this month.

Called the "most delectable event of the year," the three-day event, now in it's eighth year, is being held Friday, January 24 through Sunday, January 26 from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm each day. Come out and celebrate the history and taste of the beloved cacao plant. Enjoy an assortment of chocolate treats from international vendors, cooking demos by prominent chefs, lectures from chocolatiers and restaurateurs, learning opportunities for kids, and much more. 

Journey through the world of cacao and get your Choco-Passport stamped at the Choco-Walk stops throughout Fairchild. Don’t miss a stroll through the Tropical Fruit Pavilion’s collection of cacao trees to learn the process that turns their seeds into chocolate consumed worldwide. For an even closer look, the USDA is showcasing a cacao collection featuring the different varieties of cacao beans. And, American Heritage Chocolate – from Mars Chocolate North America, makers of brands like M&Ms and Snickers – will be dishing out samples of their authentic hot chocolate drink with an interactive chocolate history demonstration. I love the hot chocolate booth, one of my favs. 


Visitors wanting to grow their own chocolate can browse the plant sale area for a cacao tree or chocolate-scented orchid. For those in search of relaxation in a beautiful tropical setting, outdoor yoga classes are offered on Sunday by Rina Yoga. Bring the whole family to the KidWay area, which offers hands-on learning opportunities for children and their families and, on Saturday, will feature a reading of poems inspired by chocolate written by W.R. Thomas Middle School students. There’s something at Fairchild for every chocolate enthusiast. 

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables. Admission to the International Chocolate Festival is free for Fairchild members and children 5 and under. For nonmembers, admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up, and $12 for children 6-17. Those who walk, bike, or take public transportation receive $5 off adult admission and $2 off child admission. Those with a Military ID have free admission, with $20 for their spouses and $10 for their children.

For more information and a complete schedule, please call 305-667-1651 or visit the International Chocolate Festival Web page. 

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