While the “wild and wonderful” landscape of West Virginia may be a favorite for those looking for a little Zen, we’re here to tell you that there’s more in those hills than peaceful vistas and whispering wind. When you’re done getting in touch with nature, make a trip down to the little town of Lewisburg, where you can get in touch with something a bit tastier: your inner chocoholic. For three days out of the year (April 9-11 in 2016), this tiny town is transformed into a living, breathing, choco-centric celebration straight out of the good Wonka’s playbook. Welcome to the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival.
Over thirty-five businesses in downtown Lewisburg join in on the festival fun (no small feat for a town that weighs in at just under four square miles), and we’re not just talking about bakeries here: restaurants, real-estate offices, clothiers, and inns all roll up their sleeves and throw down their best creative confections for the chocolate jubilee. Armed with a fist-full of tickets, a visitor to the festival can sample any variety of cakes, cookies, candy, puddings, pies, and pastries from traditional treats like artisanal truffles to eclectic renditions like chocolate-pepper salsa and—for the brave of heart (and high of metabolism)—chocolate-covered-cherry Jell-O shots.
While the chocolate tasting may be the star of the show, there’s plenty of fun-filled, sweet indulgence for the amateur chocolatier all weekend. Local musicians bring Lewisburg’s signature eclectic blend of live music, restaurants roll out specialty menus (think chicken breasts with dark chocolate marinara, ribeye with chocolate stout pan sauce), and theaters schedule back-to-back showings of sugar-coated features like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Chocolat. There are chef demonstrations, a bake off benefiting the Humane Society (just because Fido can’t eat chocolate doesn’t mean that he should miss out on all the fun), a chocolate brunch at the library, even a chocolate-mousse eating contest (rule number one: no hands allowed). Sound a little rich for the waistline? Fear not, there’s a 5k Chocolate Chase at the end to work your way back to even.
With ten years of festival experience, the people of Lewisburg have become experts in squeezing as much chocolaty cheer into seventy-two hours and four square miles as possible. Considering the fact that this little corner of West Virginia is filled to the brim with eclectic, mountain charm the other 362 days of the year, the three that make up the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival make the town’s cup runneth over with ooey-gooey goodness and Southern hospitality, making those the sweetest ones of the year.
See More Fun Photos from Lewisburg’s Chocolate Festival Here