By Sarrah Peters
On Wednesday, March 2, Rainbow City officials and Mayor Terry John Calhoun announced plans for the 11th Annual Alabama Chocolate Festival. The festival will take place at the Rainbow Plaza in Rainbow City on Saturday, April 2. Admission to the festival is free.
Calhoun commended city employees for volunteering their time to make the Chocolate a success once again.
Last year, the five-foot chocolate fountain was such a popular attraction that this year there will be three fountains. The Greater Gadsden Tourism Board sponsored the fountain. The fountain will be open from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. or until the chocolate is gone. It will be located next to the stage.
The Chocolate Taste-Off will feature four categories: Cakes, Pies, Candy and Everything Else Chocolate. Baked items should be received by 10:30 a.m., so that judging can take place from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The taste-off will take place in a large white tent by the stage. For each category a first prize award of $100, a second prize award of $50 and a third prize award of $30 will be given. For the Best Overall Presentation, a $150 award will be given. After the judging is over, everyone is welcome to sample the entries.
The carnival will also return to the festival this year. Ticket prices are 22 for $25 or $1.25 a ticket.
Another popular event is the treasure hunt for “The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow…City”. A certificate will be hidden in the city limits of Rainbow City. Each Thursday, starting March 22, clues will be given out on the radio stations WQSB, MIX102.9 and Power 107.5. The city asks treasure hunters to remember that they are hunting a certificate, not a treasure chest. When found, winners are asked to call The Chamber and inform them, and then bring the certificate to the office on Walnut Street for confirmation. The certificate will not be buried, hidden in a tree or placed anywhere that climbing is needed to reach it. Participants are urged to be courteous to each other and the owners of the property that may contain the certificate. The certificate may or may not be accessible 24/7.
The Chug-a-Lug contest, where participants drink as much chocolate milk as possible, will take place at 11:45 a.m. The egg toss will take place at 12 p.m.
At this year’s festival, six drawings for $250 will take place at the Pepsi Stage at 4:30 p.m. A ticket will be placed in the drawing each time a participant purchases a drink from the Pepsi Wagons. Tickets will also be available for $1 each. Participants must be present to win.
Rainbow City officials also announced this year’s Alabama Chocolate Festival lineup. The headliner, who will play from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., is Pam Tillis, the 1994 CMA female vocalist of the year . She has written songs for top singers, including several of her own hits. She is a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Local bluegrass favorite Foggy Hollow will play at 12:30 p.m. Gospel group Classic Melody Boys will perform at 1:30 p.m. At 2:30 p.m., Kudzu Junkies will perform. At 3:30 p.m., gospel group Exodus will take the stage. At 5 p.m. country singer Leah Seawright will perform.
For more information, please visit the city’s website at www.rbcalabama.com or call the mayor’s office at 256-413-1201.