By Sarrah Peters
On Friday, March 6, Rainbow City officials and Mayor Terry John Calhoun announced the plans for the 10th annual Alabama Chocolate Festival. The festival will take place at the Rainbow Plaza in Rainbow City on Saturday, April 11. Admission to the festival is free.
“This is our tenth year, and we are expecting a large crowd for this event,” said Calhoun.
The five-foot chocolate fountain that was a popular attraction last year will be returning. The Etowah County 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 in a large white tent. Everyone can come dip in a favorite treat!
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 $20 or $1 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 19, clues will be given out on the radio stations WQSB, MIX102.9 and Power 107.5. The city asks treasure hunters to remember they are hunting a certificate, not a treasure chest. When found, winners are asked to call The Chamber to 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. Particpants 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.
At this year’s festival, four drawings for $250 will take place. The drawings will be held 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 were proud to announce this year’s Alabama Chocolate Festival lineup. The headliner, which will play from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., is Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers. Larry, Steve and Rudy Gatlin began to sing in their hometown of Odessa, Texas over 50 years ago. They have played all over the United States, including the White House, Broadway and Las Vegas. They have also been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. Some of their popular hits are “I Just Wish You Were Someone I Loved,” “Houston,” and “All The Gold In California,” which won Single of the Year in 1979. The Florida Boys will play again this year at 12:30 p.m. Local group Wise Choice Entertainment &Vocal Academy will perform at 1:45 p.m. At 2:30 p.m., Vintage Gray will perform 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s music. At 5 p.m., the JSU Steel Band will take the stage.
For more information, please visit the city’s website at www.rbcalabama.com or call the mayor’s office at 256-413-1201.