New events added will stay for Chocolate Fest 2014 - Aug. 20, 2013
Changes and new events added to this year’s Chocolate Fest worked so well, organizers intend to implement them next year during the festival’s 30th anniversary celebrations.
Topping off that festival will be the renewal of marriage vows for mascots The Great Chocolate Mousse and his wife Tiffany. The couple was married on the festival’s 10th anniversary and Tiffany was surprised during this year’s opening ceremonies with a love letter and proposal to renew their vows from The Mousse.
Sarah Goulding, festival oversight manager and manager of The Chocolate Museum, said the location for next year’s wedding has not yet been chosen.
“Tiffany has a few ideas in mind and we’re going to let her have her say,” said Goulding. “The original wedding took place in the bandstand at Milltown.”
Goulding said Tiffany and The Mousse were very lucky that wedding planner Katelyn Rodas of K Bella has offered them her assistance. Rodas has been a member of the Chocolate Fest organizing committee for three years now and is, Goulding, stated, “a very close friend of Mousse and Tiffany.”
Goulding promised the public will be kept informed as more plans develop for the wedding.
Goulding said this year the committee was impressed with this year’s festival, but noted that overall, fewer people attended the bigger events such as Taste of Chocolate, Chocolate Mania and the closing ceremonies.
However, the committee said there was increased attendance at other events requiring tickets.
“We sold out of every event in advance,” said Goulding, mentioning the Taste of New Brunswick and the chocolate dinners. She said that appeared to indicate increased participation by locals and people from away who didn’t want to miss the event and knew enough to buy their tickets in advance.
One major change this year was in the hand-dipping event, usually held on one evening, where young and old alike get the opportunity to dip candy into warm, melted chocolate under the supervision of experienced dippers from Ganong Bros., Limited.
Goulding said she and Chocolatier manager Jeff McShane and the festival’s operating committee noticed attendance at the evening hand dipping event was dropping off each year. They speculated that perhaps having it in the evening posed a problem for people, so made the decision to move it to the daytime.
“We gave it a new name – Create your own chocolates - refreshed it and decided to wait and see.”
The committee allotted 40 tickets for each day during the hours of noon and 2 p.m. On the first day for the event, Tuesday after New Brunswick Day, the tickets had to be doubled in number. That continued for each subsequent day for the event which concluded Friday of festival week.
“We had about 400 people and were sold out each day,” said Goulding. “We’re really, really pleased. We also want to thank Mayor John Quartermain who generously gave up his town parking spot for the week. It was a perfect spot to have it.”
Hand dippers lined up in the tunnel between town hall and The Chocolate Museum, which offered them protection from both the hot sun and the occasional rain shower. The dipping tents were set up in parking spots allocated for the mayor and CAO at the end of the tunnel near the entrance to the town’s council chambers.
Another new event that will be repeated is the art showcase. “We were thrilled with both the participation and the attendance and with the talent here in Charlotte County.”
Goulding said the show, which ran throughout festival week, featured the work of many talented artists and goes to show “artistic talent is not just limited to Saint Andrews.”
“It was lovely to have a forum and a venue to show off that talent. A lot of the pieces were sold.”
She said the showcase even had a separate room for children’s art, produced by members of the Boys and Girls Club of Charlotte County, and those enrolled in the Just For Kidz daycare and the Family Resource Centre.
“It was wonderful and we’re looking forward to bringing that back again.”
Goulding said the committee has a lot of great fresh ideas for next year’s festival. She said the committee is comprised of a “great mix of people”, some of whom have been with the festival from its beginning, like Flo McGeachy, to its newest members, people like Michael Hatt who works at Guardian Drugs.
“We can’t pull off a big festival in a large community without a lot of support from our volunteers and sponsors who this year went above and beyond, giving of their time, feedback and support.”
Anyone wishing to help out with next year’s festival is urged to contact Goulding at The Chocolate Museum or contact her on the festival’s Facebook site.