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January 31, 2013 (Escondido)--Lovers, chocolate lovers, and art lovers unite! The Chocolate Festival returns to Downtown Escondido again this year on Saturday, February 9th, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Grand Avenue will be transformed into the perfect destination for anyone looking for something different to do for Valentine’s Day this year. “For The Love of Chocolate” and “SweetArt” Festival, guarantees to satisfy the sweet tooth and the sweetheart.

Chocolate will abound in many forms beginning at 2 pm when “Sweet Street” opens at the Maple Street Plaza. Visitors can enjoy a romantic horse and carriage ride, then stroll among booths where they can sip and savor or shop for Valentine’s Day gifts. Vendors will be offering gourmet chocolates created by local and international chocolatiers, jewelry, and other romantic gifts.

A carefully-selected assortment of exotic chocolates will be paired with boutique wines, champagnes and locally-crafted beers inside ten retail stores along Grand Avenue, for those 21 and older who purchase tickets for the pairings. Included with the pairings will be samples of chocolate infused dishes and beverages presented by local restaurants.  The ticket price is $25 when purchased before February 1 and $35 after that date. Tickets can be purchased at the event website www.escondidochocolatefestival.com or at “Sweet Street” on the day of the event.

Kid-friendly chocolate activities have been added to the event this year. Chocolate related activities will be offered in 5 Grand Avenue venues for a ticket price of only $12, recommended for children from five to twelve years old. Activities will range from games to decorating with chocolate. The young participants will come away with their chocolate creations and memories of chocolate fun.

The Second Saturday “SweetArt” Festival brings fine art into the mix with gallery exhibitions and receptions at the Escondido Municipal Gallery, Darrell McPherson Gallery and Distinction Gallery, featuring new artworks by local and international artists.

Additional variations on the chocolate theme can be found around downtown, where other stores, restaurants, galleries and spas, may also be offering chocolate treats and specials to the public. Sip and savor special chocolate drinks and dishes. You can even sign up for a chocolate infused spa treatment at The Loft Hair Design & Skincare, also a pairing location.

Sponsored this year by Design Moe Kitchen & Bath and Integrity First Mortgage, the Chocolate Festival is organized by Escondido Downtown Business Association with the support of volunteers and additional sponsors.

For more detailed and up to date information and a complete list of wine & chocolate tasting locations, please visit the event website: www.esccondidochocolatefestival.com or contact Thora Guthrie at:760.715.3230. You can also email Thora at thora@downtownescondido.com.


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