The year’s most delicious outdoor festival

Lewisburg Chocolate Festival. Photo: Lewisburg Chocolate Festival Facebook Page

Indulge your sweet tooth … all day!

The Lewisburg Chocolate Festival on April 8 puts the best chocolatiers and desserts in one place. Taste decadent creations, watch baking demonstrations, and try artisan meals. Go ahead; for one day, it’s OK to splurge.

Loco for cocoa

Simple on the outside, creamy complexity on the inside: behold the truffle.  In many ways, that describes the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival, too.

For starters, dessert starts early: 11 a.m. That’s when participating restaurants unveil more than 35 opportunities for folks to taste gourmet chocolate. These samples aren’t cheap giveaways, either. Anything with cocoa is game: cocktails, artisan candy, whimsical bon bons … you name it.

Feast your eyes on this sneak preview:

  • Chocolate martinis at Del Sol
  • French silk tartlet at The Bakery
  • The Perfect Chocolate Cookie at The General Lewis Inn

Tasting tickets are sold by the bunch (5 for just $5 — a bargain for artisan snacks and drinks). You can buy tickets online by April 6 at 8 p.m. or purchase them by April 7 at the Greenbrier County Visitors’ Center, Bella The Corner Gourmet, and Harmony Ridge Gallery.

And while eating chocolate is a high point, the festival’s other activities are pretty sweet, too. For example, there’s a bake-off (which includes even more samples). You can also observe pastry demonstrations; watch the original “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”; and race in the 10k Chocolate Chase.

By no means is this all. This family-friendly festival teems with activities for kids, street performers, and entertainment late into the day.

Decadent dishes

Lewisburg’s dining scene goes the extra mile, too. In conjunction with the festival, restaurants will serve cuisine inspired by King Cocoa.

You don’t need a sweet tooth, either. In fact, chocolate can be a seasoning rather than the main ingredient.

Here’s a sampler:

  • Stardust Cafe: white chocolate baba ganoush with grilled sea bass.
  • Hill & Holler: bacon-balsamic-and-arugula pizza with fontina and dark chocolate shavings.
  • Food and Friends: beef tenderloin medallions with chocolate port wine sauce, crab-stuffed shrimp, baked potato, and vegetables.

Check out the complete list of participating restaurants for more details. If you can, make reservations; spots fill up quickly!

What’s your favorite Lewisburg Chocolate Festival event?