Yukon Chocolate Festival a sweet success

A little something there to please any chocoholic’s taste buds

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Okie Artistry vendors, from left, Hannah Combs, Olivia Wright, and Sam Tanquary ensured that each guest that stopped to check out the saccharine treats at their confection booth walked away with some chocolatey goodness. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

By Cara Pattison
Contributing Writer

Chocolate lovers of the world united on Saturday, Feb. 5 at the 10th Annual Yukon Chocolate Festival.

Whether it was chocolate cake pops, brownies, fudge, ice cream, cupcakes, bonbons, molded candies, or cookies – there was a little something there to please any chocoholic’s taste buds.

Featuring 20 vendor booths and a silent auction of baked goods and gift baskets, chocolate connoisseurs from across Yukon lined-up to fill their treat box with seven goodies of their choosing.

The sugary event was held at the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore Drive, and hosted by the Yukon Parks and Recreation Department and the Ladies Library Club.

The icing on the cake was that proceeds from the event sweetened the Ladies Library Club’s coffers to purchase materials for the Mabel C. Fry Library.

“This event is for a good cause, and who doesn’t love chocolate?” Yukon Parks and Recreation Director Chris Lucas said. “It is a time for us to bring the community together with chocolate vendors and promote small businesses.

“Vendors get to know our community in a fun way. As the father of young kids and a chocolate lover myself, I have to say it’s enjoyable to get out and try some goodies and meet new people.”

Kids in attendance at the Chocolate Festival agreed with Lucas, giving the event “two sugary thumbs up.”

“This is every kid’s dream,” attendee Max Bagajuevich, 10, said.

Nodding in agreement, his friend Justice Johnson, 13, said, “I feel like I’m in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!”

WHAT A HOMER!!! At the Yanda and Son Funeral Home booth, vendor Homer Cobb stocks his treat trays with scrumptious chocolate-covered cherries. His entry won the “Best Chocolste” award. (Photo by Cara Pattison)
CC’s Homemade Sweets vendor Cerese Collie and her granddaughter, Gabby Ghomrawi, 9, were a popular stop on the chocolate tour at the festival with their fancy homemade treats. One attendee said their confections were “almost too pretty to eat!” (Photo by Cara Pattison)
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CONFECTIONS APLENTY

While the boys couldn’t decide what their favorite goody of the day was, mom of two young girls Corrine Huguez said her five year-old daughter, Emma, liked the chocolate sundae without bananas, and her seven year-old daughter, Olivia, raved about the chocolate Legos.

Another mom, Tracy Visor, said that she and her son, Levi, 11, are sweet on Baked Bear treats and beelined for that booth first.

And while most attended the event to give their taste buds a sampling of various new confections, one young lady in attendance was there so she could share her goodies with a loved one.

“I love chocolate and wanted to come experience getting a taste of many different treats,” Peyton Musgrove, 14, said. “But, I’m saving some sweets to take to my grandma.”

Longtime attendee Oralia Rein said she looks forward to the Chocolate Festival year-round.

“This event is my thing!” Oralia Rein said. “I love chocolate and make sure this festival is on my calendar. Each year, something new is on my favorites list. This year, I have to say that my top selections were the chocolate cupcakes and the hot chocolate.”

By the end of the event, everyone walked away with both chocolate and a smile on their face.

“I think it is impossible to be unhappy at a festival dedicated to the love of chocolate, and can’t wait until next year,” attendee Jackson Beau said.

At the Yanda and Son Funeral Home booth, vendor Homer Cobb stocks his treat trays with scrumptious chocolate covered cherries. (Photo by Cara Pattison)

BEST CHOCOLATE!

Much to their sweet surprise, table vendor Yanda and Son Funeral Home won the award for “Best Chocolate,” funeral director Homer Cobb said.

“When they opened that door and a marathon of people came pouring in, I knew this was going to be fun!” Cobb said. “I got asked a lot (at the event ) who made all the sweets at our table. I made a lot of the candy, but we all contributed and it was a joint effort.

“Our chocolate-covered strawberries were probably one of the favorites at our booth, and we ran out of those fast. We ran out of everything, really!”

Cobb’s co-chocolatier, funeral home owner Donna Yanda, agreed with Cobb’s dedication to fun and supporting the community.

“We always participate in local events when possible,” she said. “We love doing it and giving back to our beloved community. The Chocolate Festival was truly a fun event that gave back to our community by improving the library.”

Longtime Chocolate Festival attendee Oralia Rein is all smiles as she prepares to enjoy her first two chocolate treats of the year. Before she left, Rein said her favorite choices this year were the chocolate cupcakes and the hot chocolate. (Photo by Cara Pattison)
Mom Tracy Visor (right) and her son, Levi, enjoy some of their sweet treats at the Chocolate Festival, but admitted their first stop at the event was the Baked Bear table. (Photo by Cara Pattison)
From left, Mabel C. Fry Librarian Sara Schieman and Ladies of the Library members Inez Andrews, Margaret Albrecht, and Sue Kilmer volunteered to ensure that the Chocolate Festival was a tasty success. Proceeds of the event were given to the ladies’ organization to purchase materials for the Yukon library. (Photo by Cara Pattison)
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