GREENVILLE — Mmmmmm.
Chocolate heaven awaits those who venture to the Moosehead Lake Region Chamber of Commerce fifth annual chocolate festival from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, at the Masonic Temple.
This year’s event will feature last year’s favorites, including chocolate cannoli, chocolate petit fours, chocolate chip bread pudding with caramel sauce and chocolate orange cheesecake.
There will be about 26 other chocolate delicacies, including a chocolate fountain for dipping fresh fruit and new offerings such as molten lava chocolate cake with raspberry sauce, chocolate sprinkled cotton candy, carrot cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting and chocolate truffle cheesecake.
“The whole place smells like a chocolate factory,” organizer Susan Hamer said Monday. “It’s amazing. These are not just members of the Chamber. These are members of the community [contributing].”
The chocolate festival, which is the Chamber’s only fund-raising event, is part of the seventh annual Snofest, which includes a chili and chowder cook-off, a cookout and snowmobile events. The Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club sponsors the latter events.
“It really has grown. We made $1,800 the first year and close to $5,000 last year, so that’s pretty amazing,” Hamer said of the festival. About 90 adults and five children attended the first year compared with last year’s attendance of 210 adults and 88 children, she said.
There will be some spirited competition on the side at this year’s festival, according to Hamer.
The Greenville Police Department, C.A. Dean-Greenville EMS, and the Monson Fire Department will submit chocolate entries they each hope will bring votes.
The festival plays a critical role for the Chamber. “It’s an important part of our budget, because our budget is basically dues,” Robert Hamer, the Chamber’s executive director, said Monday. “Obviously the $5,000 is an essential, integral part of it.” The chocolate festival, along with the silent and Chinese auction held in conjunction with the festival, raised about $5,000 last year. The proceeds are used to market the region.
The community has been supportive and donates items for the silent and Chinese auctions, Susan Hamer said. She said antiques, dinners and lodging at local businesses will be auctioned off.
Hamer, who got the idea for the chocolate festival from her daughter, said the first year she approached her co-workers at C.A. Dean Memorial Hospital to help and they were all supportive of the venture. “The first year we had 25 chocolate chefs and now we’re up to, I think, 34,” she said.
Hamer said Helen Schacht of Mud Puddle Mercantile makes and donates everything for the children’s corner. “It is incredible what she does, she’s so generous,” she said.
For nonchocolate lovers, Snowfest offers other tasty dishes. Pots of chili or chowder offered by local cooks and restaurants are provided for a spirited cook-off at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, at the snowmobile clubhouse on Scammon Road. Admission to this popular event is $5. Participants sample the dishes and vote for their favorites.
Plenty of food will continue to be offered when the snowmobile club sponsors a noon indoor cookout on Saturday, Feb. 14, at the clubhouse, featuring hot dogs, hamburgers and deep-fried turkey.
A family fun snowmobile ride and events will start at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, at the clubhouse. Lunch will be served free to children. At 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, the club will sponsor a snowmobile parade from East Cove to West Cove with a bonfire and refreshments afterward.