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Chocolate at the Beach Festival this weekend

Visitors to the North Beach this weekend might feel as though they are in Homer Simpson’s “Land of Chocolate” daydream, where he skips past marshmallow trees, gets caught in a candy downpour and takes a bite out of a barking chocolate dog.

To kick off the festival on Friday, there will be a “Chocolate Cocktail Throwdown” where the Green Lantern defends last year’s title of “Best Cocotail” against the Windjammer, the Mill 109 restaurant and the Seagate Restaurant and Lounge. The event is spread from Pacific Beach, Moclips and expanding to Iron Springs Resort.

Chocolate vendors will be out starting at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Pacific Beach Elementary School, where chocolatiers, artists and crafters sample and sell their chocolate wares. Entry for both days is $5 and includes cooking demonstrations in the North Beach Community Center and access to the vendor buildings and events. There also is a raffle for a monthly pound of chocolate for a full year and a Shop the North Beach contest that rewards door prizes for every $10 spent around town during the festival.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

•Iron Springs Resort on Saturday from noon-3 p.m. hosts “The Chocolate Man,” in Cabin 2 with a truffle making demo. The Chocolate Man, Allestad explains, is veteran chocolate chef and cooking instructor Bill Fredericks of Lake Forest Pare (www.chocolateman.com). He sets up at the cabin and brings Iron Spring into the Chocolate on the Beach Festival as part of the miles of chocolate theme.

•The first cooking demonstration is at 11 a.m. Saturday at the North Beach Community Center with “Brother Bliss of Blissful Wonders: Chocolate with a Twist,” followed by the “The Culinary Madmen” cooking demonstration by Jess Owen at 1 p.m. Other demonstrations at Seabrook’s new Town Hall on Saturday and Sunday are “Wine for Chocolate,” “Cupcake Decorating,” starting at noon each day.

•Special guest judge this year is recording artist and singer Kim Archer. The chocolate eating contest is at 2 p.m. Sunday at the elementary school, followed by the recipe contest awards at 3 p.m. and the “Year of Chocolate” winner announcement at 3:30 p.m.

For more information and full schedule: http://www.chocolateonthebeachfestival.com/

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