As Valentine's Day is right around the corner, many are searching for chocolate in all colors, shapes, sizes and flavors.
This February, chocolate lovers can rejoice while attending two upcoming chocolate-themed events in the McPherson County area.
From 5 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 8, Shopolate, hosted by McPherson Main Street, will take place in downtown McPherson at 14 locations.
"It's a Valentine event where you’re shopping for bargains while eating chocolate. Attendees can purchase a ticket and can get it stamped at each location for samples of goodies and there are exclusive shopping deals that night at all locations. Then at the very last location attendees are at, they can give their ticket to them, then I will gather all the tickets together and draw for prizes," said Ann Engel, executive director of McPherson Main Street. "We have eight prize packages for the winners."
There are only 100 tickets available and they sell out relativity quickly for the event.
"It's because of the food factor. Each store will make enough chocolate goodies for 100 servings. There has to be some way to give them an idea of what they can make. The first year we sold 50 and last year we went up to 100, that seemed to be a good number so we kept it the same this year," Engel explained.
Tickets are $10 per person and are available to pick up at Venable Jewlers at 214 N. Main St., Brooklyn & Co at 215 N. Main St, The Cook's Nook at 219 N. Main St., and McPherson Main Street office at 306 N. Main St.
Stores will offer chocolate items such as cakes, cookies, brownies and some may even have a chocolate fountain or a hot chocolate bar.
"It's so fun to see what everyone comes up with," Engel laughed. "It's also a chance to get out and experience McPherson. That's what we try to do all the time is get people into the stores so they see what's in there and to support the local stores. They can also see a lot of spring stuff coming in."
For more information on the Shopolate event, call McPherson Main Street at 620-241-7430 or visit their Facebook page.
Locations for Shopolate include:
— ArtShirt Gear for Sport
— CTFit 24
— Rusty Tin Vintage & Boutique
— The Well
— McPherson Opera House Consignment & Resale
— Brooklyn & Co.
— Stupka Chiropractic & Wellness
— The Cooks Nook
— The Village Geek
— Twice Told Tales
— Venable Jewelers
— Brown's Shoe Fit Co.
— Bello Capelli Salon
— Nooks & Crannies
Chocolate Lovers Affair - Art Auction
From 7 to 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 10, the Chocolate Lovers Affair - Art Auction fundraiser will take place at the J.O. Sundstrom Conference Center, located at 102 N. Main St. in Lindsborg,
During the event, the Lindsborg Arts Council will award Don Osbourn as the 2018 Artist of the Year.
Osbourn is known in the community for his sculptures.
"This event helps fund two scholarships that we give to high school students every year. That's really why this was created and it's also an art auction. This is our largest funding event we do and it also goes toward other events that we do throughout the year," said Lindsborg Arts Council president Amy Dreier.
The focus this year's event is everything chocolate and the chocolate artists.
"We really want to concentrate on the chocolate part of it. We are actually trying to find more chocolate artist to come in and create a centerpiece and have samples on the table. Then we have a contest and vote. Everyone will get a chocolate kiss when they walk in the door and they can use that chocolate kiss to vote on which centerpiece they like the best," Dreier explained.
Artists are allowed to make anything they desire from chocolate for the centerpieces, as long as they're edible, Dreier noted.
The winner of the centerpiece will win a $100 gift card and will have two free tickets and admission into the event. Admission for the event is $20 and can be paid at the door. The Madrigals from the Smoky Valley High School will be playing to keep the night upbeat as well.
With the theme being Chocolate Lovers Affair, Dreier said to expect everything around you that evening to be something in chocolate form.
"We also have a chocolate fountain this year and a hot chocolate bar, which is sponsored by the White Peacock here in Lindsborg. We are offering peppermint schnapps shots for something a little extra and two signature chocolate drinks," Dreier said. "We will have appetizers available and a cash bar. If you are a member of the Lindsborg Arts Council, then you do get a free drink ticket. If you're not a member and would like to become one that evening, you can do that as well."
For more information on the Chocolate Lovers Affair - Art Auction event, visit their Lindsborg Arts Council Facebook page.