The Chocolate Festival is too sweet to ignore


Emma O'Connor

Every October, the Congregational Church of Belmont is always decorated with lights.

What better way to start October than with the way it’s going to end? With too much chocolate.

This year marks the 37th annual Chocolate Festival, a fundraiser hosted by the Congregational Church of Belmont. The proceeds go to the upkeep of the building, which has historical significance, as well as local humanitarian organizations, including Home & HopeSamaritan House, and Second Harvest Food Bank.

Liz Bhatt, an attendee of the event, said, “I go to the Chocolate Festival because I love chocolate and the fact that the festival donates its profits to a good cause.”

Donations aside, the Chocolate Festival has a lot to offer, including plenty of chocolate, a live jazz band, and alcohol.

Rhiannon Windeler, a freshman at Carlmont, said, “It’s a tradition for my family and me to go to the Chocolate Festival. We always go because it’s so close, and who doesn’t want to eat a bunch of chocolate?”

After tasting all the chocolates, guests get to decide whether they’d like to purchase any of the chocolates from the boutique.

Megan Bhatt, daughter of Liz Bhatt, said, “All the sample chocolates on sale, so it’s hard to control yourself when you decide which ones to buy.”

The night is wrapped up with a raffle for prizes such as chocolate, alcohol, and vouchers for local businesses.

“The raffle is fun because you get to buy tickets in addition to the ones they give you, and they have great prizes. It’s always really intense when they’re calling out the numbers because you’re waiting to hear yours called,” Megan Bhatt said.

The Chocolate Festival is an event that people come back to, whether it be an annual tradition or years later.

“The first time I came to the Chocolate Festival was in 1990,” Liz Bhatt said. “I saw it in the newspaper and was interested in going to a festival with all-you-can-eat chocolate.”

People from all around the Bay Area come to the festival for the chocolate, but they come back for the inviting environment.

“The atmosphere is so welcoming, and you get this sense of community from it. Everybody’s from around here, and when people come, they always seem to know everyone else already. They’re all so friendly, which makes the festival a nice place to spend time at,” Windeler said.

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