Weekly Feature

2015-09-02 / Local News

Chocolate and Wine Fest expects big turnout

by ETHAN POWERS Reporter

The North Tonawanda Parks & Recreation Department and the Tonawanda Gateway Harbor Corporation will try to alleviate the stresses of summer’s waning sunlight through the delectable combination of chocolate and wine.

The sixth annual North Tonawanda Chocolate and Wine Festival will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Gateway Harbor Park.

The mission of the Tonawanda Gateway Harbor Corporation is to promote economic growth, tourism, recreation, and cultural and historic heritage through the use of the Tonawandas’ Gateway Harbor Park.

Patricia Brosius, director of North Tonawanda’s Department of Youth, Parks & Recreation, noted that the event first came about as a way to highlight the various confectioners in the town.

“We were trying to think of something local to involve the different chocolate places in town and a way of showcasing them,” she said.

The festival, according to Brosius, has expanded a great deal since its inception. Even more local businesses will be participating in this year’s event.

“We definitely have more vendors this year as well as more local restaurants who will be participating,” said Brosius.

Businesses and vendors will set up booths along the park’s walkway and will serve an array of assorted chocolates, while several wineries will be on hand to pair their libations with the many sweets available.

Platter’s Chocolates, Sassi Cakes cupcakes, Nut Hut, Budwey’s and Blissfully Sweet Bake Shop will all be serving chocolate concoctions, while Schulze Winery, Willow Creek Winery and Midnight Run Wine Cellars will be available to offer drinks to attendees.

A kids’ corner will feature such events as a chocolate eating contest and chocolate-themed games and contests organized by the North Tonawanda Recreation Department. The culinary department of Niagara County Community College will be on hand to display a variety of chocolate recipes.

“They’re going to be doing a demonstration on cooking with chocolate and all of the different things we can do with it, so people will be able to look on and learn some cool new skills,” said Brosius.

Lou’s Restaurant will be offering a breakfast special from 7 a.m. until noon, serving chocolate cream-stuffed French toast and Black Forest waffles. From 4 to 6 p.m., Webster’s Bistro will offer chocolate martinis as well as a chocolate wine.

Brosius noted that with the new vendors and excitement shown from the community, she expects this year’s festival to be bigger and better than ever.

“It’s getting more popular every year. Enthusiasm is constantly growing.”

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