By LISA WHALEY
On Saturday, chocolate lovers from across the region will be spilling into Jonesborough for this year’s annual Chocolate Fest.
And members of Jonesborough Area Merchants and Service Association — sponsors of what may be called Jonesborough’s most popular winter event — couldn’t be happier.
“This is our fourth year,” explained Dona Lewis, JAMSA treasurer. And more than 2,000 visitors are expected.
To JAMSA members, that number not only represents a lot of happy people, it is also a great way for merchants to showcase the town they love, especially during the sometimes dreary month of February.
“We want them to take away good memories of a good time in Jonesborough, then use that memory to bring them back,” explained Jennifer Wolfe, JAMSA treasurer.
The good memories are almost assured as Saturday’s fest is promising handmade chocolates in all forms and fashions.
Set to be held downtown from 11 to 3 p.m. on Feb. 9, the event will offer everything from “chocolate mice” made with Hershey’s Kisses and maraschino cherries, chocolate praline mousse layer cake, chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter pie to an assortment of truffles, chocolate covered strawberries and lot of items ready for chocolate dipping.
“We expect to sell about 14,000 tickets, with each ticket being a serving of chocolate,” Wolfe said. “We sell them in packs of 10 or 15.”
Before the event, 10-ticket packs are available for $11.50, while 15-ticket packs are $16.50. Visit JBOchocolatefest.com or call 753-1010.
On the day of the event, chocolate lovers can pick up limited packs of 10 tickets for $15 each.
According to both Wolfe and Lewis, this event isn’t just fun for participants, it’s also gotten to be a favorite activity for the merchants as well.
“All of the merchants are pleased with this event,” Lewis said. In fact, local businesses were signing up before she could even get out the door.
“This list filled up really quickly this year,” Lewis said. “We didn’t have to go after people.”
Wolfe agreed, saying that Chocolate Fest is definitely a fun day for all.
“It’s really set up as sort of a walking tour of downtown, you’re meeting the merchants . . .you’re eating chocolate and your happy,” she said.
Of course, Chocolate Fest isn’t the only event JAMSA will bring to Jonesborough in 2019. Also up ahead will be Strolling on Main in May, with its promise of art, tapas and wine; and the ever-popular Scoop Fest in August, with its assorted collection of favorite ice cream flavors.
Throughout the year, JAMSA will also continue to be involved in the service part of their name, donating a portion of their proceeds to the local food bank and stepping in to assist in a variety of other community-oriented town activities.
The most important role the group plays, however, is as a support for the men and women who choose to open their dreams in Jonesborough, whether downtown or along 11E.
“Our big other reason for existence is just to be a community. We all work together,” Wolfe said. “If this store does well, than this other one will as well. It’s a symbiotic relationship.”