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Chocolate Tour offers a sweet retreat in the downtown business district

Tickets are still available for the seventh annual Chocolate Tour, which will be held this Saturday, Feb. 2.  A huge hit among those with a sweet tooth, the Downtown Excelsior Partnership (DEP) organizes the Chocolate Tour yearly.

Last year the event sold out and this year ticket sales are on the same path, with only 300 available. Tickets can still be purchased at the Hall of Waters Visitor Center or at any of the participating businesses.  DEP Executive Director Keith Winge added that thus far the weather forecast for Saturday is showing that a beautiful day is in store and in years past when the weather has been nice, tickets have sold out.

“We typically sell out when the weather is nice. The DEP advises everyone to purchase tickets online before the event,” Winge said.  The DEP has made it simple to purchase tickets online; just visit http://shop.visitesprings.com.

This year’s tour has added even more stops along the way for chocolate lovers.  Guests of the tour need to simply check in the day of the event at The Hall of Waters, where they will receive a complimentary goody bag, a map of participating businesses and a people’s choice awards ballot. Then patrons can continue on through over a dozen downtown shops to gather tasty chocolate treats.  Winge said the goody bags are provided just in case participants can’t eat chocolate at all 16 locations.

At each participating business the patron’s ticket will be marked or stamped, and at the end of the tour a drawing for a gift basket will take place.  According to Winge, participants must have their ticket punched at all locations and be present to win the gift basket.  This year’s winning basket will include items from each location participating in the Chocolate Tour.

Downtown Excelsior businesses that are participating in the seventh annual event include: The Artisan, Blue Raddish Art Coop, BobKorn Kettle Corn, Cedar’s Coffeehouse, DD’s Cupcakes, Denim to Diamondz, The Elms Hotel and Spa, Excelsior Springs Museum and Archives, Excelsior Springs Parks and Recreation, Gallery Off Broadway, the Good Samaritan Center/Broadway Bargains, Molly Roberts Studio, Montgomery Venue Center, Oooey Gooey Chocolates by Lane, Paradise Playhouse, Ventana Gourmet Grill and Willow Spring Mercantile.

Each location will provide a free sample of a unique variety of chocolate.  Last year several stores boasted homemade chocolate treats, fondue fountains and even chocolate covered bacon.  Every business had its own special twist on the way chocolate was served.

Winge said that with all of the different downtown businesses participating, the event has grown to be very popular, especially with those who like chocolate.  The seventh annual Chocolate Tour begins at 1 p.m., with the event wrapping up at 5 p.m. at the Hall of Waters. After the tour concludes, the drawing for the gift basket will take place.

By Jae Juarez • jae@leaderpress.com

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