Chocolate bliss

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The Festival of Chocolate brings together fundraising and sweet indulgence

By Jennifer Garcia

Tables filled with rich, decadent chocolate desserts. along with chocolate fountains are a dieter’s nightmare, but a chocolate lover’s dream.
Fans of the sweet treat can rejoice because The Festival of Chocolate is just around the corner.
Cookies, fudge, brownies, hot chocolate and other goodies are some of the offerings that will be featured at the 5th Annual Festival of Chocolate, from 7-9 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.
The chocolate festival kicks off the holiday events at the center, and is a prelude to the Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair and the Festival of Trees.
Betty Ehart Senior Center Executive Director Pauline Schneider said the Festival of Chocolate is an elegant occasion that will allow the public an opportunity to see the trees featured in the Festival of Trees for the first time.
Individuals and local restaurants, as well as some restaurants from Santa Fe and Taos, donate chocolate desserts that are featured at the festival.
Tickets are then sold to the public for
$20 each, with proceeds going to benefit the Family Council and the BESC, as well as the White Rock Senior Center.
Though the Festival of Chocolate is a bit of a “formal” occasion, there is no age limit for attendees. Children as well as adults can enjoy all the chocolate they want. In addition, entertainment will be provided for the event by live band, My Blue Heaven.
“They can eat a little and dance a little,” Schneider said.
No one is excluded from this event, even if they don’t like chocolate.
“Fruit and nuts are available,” Schneider said.
She said one of the highlights of the festival is the hot chocolate.
“Our chefs contribute and make the best hot chocolate anyone’s ever tasted.”
Family Council Case Manager Michaelangelo Lobato is also working to get businsses to contribute a chocolate-themed dish.
He said he’s contacted various out-of-town businesses, some of which include El Monte Sagrado Inn in Taos, Aspen Ridge and the Chocolate Maven in Santa Fe.
Several businesses in town have also been contacted and the duo is hoping for a good variety of dishes to sample.
Schneider said that chocolate doesn’t just taste good, there are also health benefits to consuming the sweet treat.
“Men live longer … it reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease,” she said, quoting an article she found on the benefits of chocolate consumption.
She said the Festival of Chocolate is an opportunity to promote business in Los Alamos.
“Go out, eat dinner and come and have dessert,” Schneider said.
Tickets for the Festival of Chocolate can be purchased at the BESC, or by phone, 662-4160.