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Bigger, better Enumclaw Chocolate Festival set for Jan. 29-31

The city of Enumclaw's inaugural Chocolate Festival was deemed such a success that this year the event is expanding with an additional day of activities, more sponsors and added sweets, demonstrations, wine and vendors.

Event Coordinator Carrie Olson is excited. Last year's event brought 3,000 people through the doors of the Exhibit Hall at the Enumclaw Expo Center for chocolate-sampling, wine-tasting, food, shopping, seminars and demonstrations. This year's she's hoping to bring in even more.

Doors open at noon Jan. 29, Jan. 30 and Jan. 31 and stay open until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, closing at 5 p.m. Sunday.

"It's going to be awesome," Expo Center Manager Michelle Larson said. "It's a good community event."

Olson said there will be a number of familiar faces from last year's event as well as new ones like the Northwest Chocolatiers Guild, which plans to run a continuous demonstration station. Chocolatiers like Sweet Decadence from Newcastle, Intrigue Chocolates from Seattle, Chocolate Affairs from Bothell and Enumclaw’s Sweet Necessities will provide samples, products and information.

"What goes better with chocolate than wine?" Olson asked.

The wine-tasting garden, hosted by Family Wineries of Washington State, will feature more than 15 Washington wineries, each with a selection of wines to sample. 

Local garden maven Marianne Binetti will let visitors in on how to bring chocolate into their garden.

Daily adult tickets are $10 and kids' tickets are $5 – but kids 3 and younger will be admitted free with a paying adult. For those watching their budgets, Sunday's admission price is $5 for everyone. Those who plan to attend Jan. 29 or Jan. 30 can save $2 on adult tickets by purchasing them by Jan. 28 at the city of Enumclaw's Parks and Recreation office, Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce, Grandma's Garden, King Feed, or Dani-Mak Desserts in Bonney Lake. Parking is free.

Olson said for those who want to make it a "date night" or "girls night out," Peak Gymnastics, located near the Exhibit Hall, will provide child play Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 evenings with special pricing.

For information, visit www.enumclawchocolatefestival.com.

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