Chocolate Fest crowds break records, over $60,000 raised

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(Photo by Sarah Richardson)
Crowds gather up and down Washington Street, tasting all the treats the festival has to offer.

The 13th annual Lewisburg Chocolate Festival broke records this year, with tasting tickets selling out days in advance.

(Photo by Sarah Richardson)
Willy Wonka himself (Larry Davis) attended the Chocolate Festival!

Downtown Lewisburg was flooded with tasters to the point where the crowds rivaled those of the TOOT festival held each October. Over 5,000 people in attendance enjoyed over 48,000 chocolate treats on Apr. 13.

Most business owners say they ran out of goods “relatively quickly,” and that the crowds were substantially larger than in years past. “The line was insane. I’d say we sold out of our tastings in about three hours,” said Brandon Morgan of Corn+ Flour. Even after running out of chocolate, Morgan said that everyone was very understanding due to the sheer number of people. Even when there was no more chocolate to be had, he said, “We stayed slammed inside as well, they came inside and got lunch.”

James Addison, who works at both the Wild Bean and Thunderbird Taco, said it was the same scenario on the other end of town. “There were more people from out of town. We were getting a lot of questions about what’s going on and where everything is. We ran out of samples very early in the day.”

Overall, the festival raised over $60,000, which means that the United Way of Greenbrier Valley will receive a donation of $30,000. Next year’s festival has already been scheduled for Apr. 11, 2020.