Thursday, March 10, 2011

Traverse City Serves Flights of Easter Chocolate with Wine

Where does spring arrive in May and summer end in August?  Michigan. With so little good weather, this state just loves to host festivals and weather themed events. We've heard that April, the month most people associate with spring, is known to local residents as “mud season.” But in Traverse City, they make the most of it by celebrating a more fun kind of mud: chocolate. Here's an event that's well suited to a family vacation with those hard-to-convince-to-come-along college kids who are home for a break.

The third annual Traverse City Chocolate Festival is being held April 10 at Traverse City, Michigan’s historic City Opera House. Participants can sample offerings from the region’s chocolatiers and chefs, choose wine pairings, and fill their Easter baskets by doing some chocolate-themed shopping. 

“It’s a celebration of all things chocolate,” says Barbara Disborough, author of "The Guide to Chocolate in the Grand Traverse Region," who is organizing the Traverse City Chocolate Festival

The region's involvement in chocolate confections dates back to the 1880's when a local shipbuilder began selling his homemade chocolate fudge to tourists on Mackinac Island. (You can read more about making your kids 'fudge judges' in this Mackinac Island Family Vacation blog.)
But whatever its origins, chocolate seems to fire the locals' imagination and consume their daily caloric intake.

“It’s kind of bizarre that all this is happening here in little old Traverse City,” conceded restaurateur Phil Murray, of the Traverse City bistro, Phil’s on Front (pictured above.) Phil's on Front features a "chocolate lounge" where handcrafted chocolates are paired with wines and spirits, including several variations on the ever-popular chocolate martini. Kids under 21 can enjoy the chocolate to go selection.

The Traverse City Chocolate Festival takes place April 10 from 1pm - 4pm; admission is $15 in advance and includes all tastings, live entertainment, comedians and an Easter Egg Hunt. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to their web site at  

Of course there's more than a day's worth of activity in this popular resort area, even if it's Mud Season.
For more information on chocolate-makers and other culinary artists in the Traverse City area, and for information about lodging and dining choices and other activities, contact the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau or call them at 800/872-8377.

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