Chocolate and nature collide with Reed Creek Park's Chocolate Festival on Saturday.
The event, a first for Reed Creek, will feature four chocolate-tasting stations along the park's boardwalk. In the park's interpretive center, guests can view displays on the history of chocolate and how chocolate is made.
Reed Creek Education Coordinator Laura Beltran said the idea of a chocolate festival surfaced last fall when members were thinking of a fundraiser for the park.
"We thought about a wine tasting, but that's for adults only, and we know that we are a family place and we really wanted to do a family event," she said. "And, a chocolate tasting right after Valentine's seemed appropriate."
Cost is just $5 per person, with children 4 and younger admitted free. Beltran said tickets are not being distributed, but pre-registration is desired so organizers can ensure they have enough sweet treats for everyone.
"We really have no idea the number of people that will come to this," she said. "We could have 30 or we could have 150. It's a big experiment."
Guests will mingle along the boardwalk at the park, which will feature the four lighted tasting stations. Each station will feature a different type of chocolate treat. Among the businesses participating are La Bonbonnierre, Publix, French Market Grille, Bi-Lo, Abbi's Coffee Mill and Roastery, Food Lion and Walmart. Milk and coffee also will be served.
"It's a very simple event," said Beltran, who encourages participants to bring flashlights. "Guests can show up any time between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. and take however long they want."
Reed Creek's Chocolate Festival is aimed at raising awareness of the park's offerings, while also providing an event for the entire family.
Reed Creek, on Furys Ferry Road behind Zaxby's, opened in March 2007. It offers after-school nature clubs, in-school programs and various hands-on activities. The park also plays host to birthday parties and other events on weekends.
For information about the chocolate festival or to register for the event, call Beltran at (706) 210-4027.
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