Decisions, decisions, decisions.
That’s the challenge facing people who come to Long Grove Chocolate Fest, Friday, May 2-Sunday, May 4. Which of the delicious sweet treats to select? Where to have a meal with a chocolate twist? Which outdoor music stage to visit?
The event is a mind-boggling, tummy-pleasing homage to chocolate — and a great way to attract visitors to the many shops in Historic Downtown Long Grove.
“A few years ago, we started offering our Chocolate Tasting Tickets,” said Rachel Perkal, co-owner with her husband of the Woodland Grove Gallery and Artistic Gardener, and president of the Long Grove Business and Community Partners. “For $5, it’s almost like a chocolate scavenger hunt. They can go all around town and choose six different chocolates to sample at participating stores.” Over 20 stores are part of the tasting program this year.
Perkal noted that they challenged the various restaurants to come up with a chocolate treat, too. “There’s hardly a food vendor in town that isn’t offering some kind of chocolate goody,” she reported. That includes chocolate martinis and chocolate beer.
“This year, we’ve expanded what we call our rides and attractions,” Perkal added. ‘We are offering not just rides for little kids but things that will appeal to older kids and grownups — everything from rock climbing walls to obstacle courses to train rides.” The charge is $10 for a wristband that entitles you to unlimited rides.
And there will be music all day at three different stages.
Cover Story will perform from 4-6 p.m. Sunday on the Mainstage near Fountain Square.
“We perform a wide variety of songs that are familiar to everyone,” said vocalist and acoustic guitar player Lucy Mihalik. “A lot of danceable stuff, Motown. We even do Lady Gaga, Adele. We’re a dance band.”
This is Cover Story’s fourth year at Chocolate Fest. They also play each year for Long Grove’s Strawberry Fest and Apple Fest.
“The Mayor loves us,” Mihalik said. “We have a good time there. I like that it’s outdoors and the people are a lot of fun.”
The four guys in the band StateLine first appeared at Long Grove for last year’s Apple Fest. They were so popular that they were invited back for Chocolate Fest. StateLine will perform at Towner Green from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday.
“We play mostly the new country that’s on the radio with a little bit of pop and old rock,” said drummer and vocalist Tom Powers.
Powers said he enjoyed performing at Apple Fest last year because, “I like the outdoors more than the bars.” He also liked the fact that families attended the performance .
“We have these blowup air guitars,” Powers said. “When the kids are around, we’ll have them come up and play a little air guitar with us. They get to keep their guitars.”
The music and rides will be great but there’s one main attraction to this fest. “If people like to eat chocolate,” Perkal said. “This is the place to be.”