Annual event raises funds for United Way of Southern Chester County

It’s going to be a sweet old time in Kennett Square next Sunday, when the United Way of Southern Chester County hosts the fifth annual Chocolate Lovers Festival.

UWSCC Executive director Carrie Freeman said that the festival is the largest fund raiser of the year for the organization, with last year’s event earning $16,000 – although Freeman said for 2017, they’re shooting for $20,000.

“I do think that’s attainable,” Freeman said. “We’ve had over 2,000 attendees (at previous events).”

Because of the increased crowds, the Festival now offers a connoisseur’s tasting an hour before doors open to the general public.  

“That way, you’re not battling through hundreds of people to get to the head of the line for chocolate,” she said.

Professionals, amateurs, and students may all submit entries, which will then be separated into five different categories: brownies, cakes, cookies, candies, and cupcakes.

The panel of 36 judges then gets to tasting in their assigned categories, winnowing the competitors down to first, second, and third place winners in each of the divisions.

““That’s why they’re so busy, it’s technically 15 categories to cover. So they’re actually eating a lot of stuff, to pick three winners in three different categories,” Freeman said. “And no, no one has ever collapsed from insulin shock.”

Think your great-grandmother’s fudge recipe has what it takes? Competitors from all three divisions are welcome to submit their entries for the competition until Thursday, Feb. 9. There is no fee to enter.

First place amateur winners will receive a $100 gift certificate to any of a number of local restaurants, as well as a Corian cutting board.

Connoisseur ticket holders can enter at 12 p.m., while general admission ticket holders enter at 1.  Connoisseur tickets are $25 each, or $45 for two, and include professional and amateur tastings, beverages, demonstrations by professional chocolatiers, and free parking. 

General admission tickets are $10 each, $30 for family of four, and include six regular tastings per person. Professional tastings are two tasting tickets. Additional tastings are available for $.50 each. General admission parking is $5 per car.

Tickets for the Year of Living Chocolate raffle are $10 for one ticket, $20 for three. Entrants could win a chocolate dessert monthly from different area bakers and chocolatiers for a year.

For more information or tickets, visit kennettchocolate.org.