Chocolate festival expands its reach of sweetness

Ten miles of chocolate concoctions

By Scott D. Johnston

For The Daily World

The 10th annual Chocolate on the Beach Festival opens its longest run ever today with several new events and the traditional “10 miles of decadence,” offering various chocolate-encounter events throughout the North Coast area, from Copalis Beach to Moclips through Sunday afternoon.

The Ocean Crest Resort in Moclips starts the weekend off tonight with “Death by Chocolate!” The murder-mystery dinner is already sold-out. However, festival early birds can start working on this year’s “Chocoholic Awards” by checking out local eateries competing for best chocolate starters, entrées and desserts, by voting for their favorite chocolate coffee drink in the “Battle of Bean” and by trying out decadent drinks in the “Chocolate Cocktail Throwdown.” All are fan-voted annual competitions among local businesses during the festival. ,

Starting Friday, Ocean Crest is sponsoring the “Chocolate Station” at the North Beach Community Center in Pacific Beach. There will be various chocolate themed classes and demonstrations, including two taught by their “Culinary Madman,” Jess Owen. Their restaurant also hosts a popular “Wine and Chocolate Food Party” on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday admission is $5 for adults, $1 for teens and free for kids. A bracelet gets you into the vendor building at the Pacific Beach Elementary School on both days, and into all the classes, demonstrations and the silent auction at the Chocolate Station. Vendors will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 to 4 on Sunday.

Last year at the Pacific Beach Resort and Conference Center, a new event was added, working with the North Beach Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Their chocolate-themed disaster preparedness and emergency cooking class was a huge hit with standing room only. This year they will end their class series with special guests doing a chocolate cook-off using emergency supplies and food items coming from the festival vendors. This takes place Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. in the Ocean Mist room.

Festival organizer Stephanie Allestad said the “Chocolate Pantry Challenge is a ‘Chopped’ meets ‘Iron Chef’ style of competition,” in which two guest chefs will have 45 minutes to create and cook.

Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Chocolate Station is a silent auction of items donated to the festival. Winning bidders will be contacted that evening and can pick up their goodies on Sunday. Proceeds benefit the festival’s educational, historical and community grants.

Other events include the 10th Annual Chocolate Recipe Contest at the Pacific Beach Community Church, which is located next door to the elementary school. They have added the category “Best in Theme.” Entries should be delivered from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, with awards taking place at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Registration for the Chocolate Eating Contest is 1 p.m. Sunday at the Chocolate Station. There you can also buy tickets for the Year of Chocolate Raffle.

Sunday the festival says “thank you for your service” with Public Safety Day, when all branches of 911, EMS, law enforcement, fire and active and retired military get in free.

Allestad is proud that “this little event has grown into a huge North Beach community festival, supporting many North Beach groups and organizations.” Since 2012, over $26,000 has been given in grants and donations in the North Coast area.

This year the festival will be raising funds for the Pacific Beach Elementary Parent’s Group for new school equipment, Grays Harbor Fire District No. 8 for new heavy duty tablecloths for the North Beach Community Center, Grays Harbor County CERT for training equipment and KXPB-LP Radio for equipment for community events.

Additional information, including recipe contest rules and a printable festival map, can be found online at, and on Facebook at ChocolateontheBeachFestival.

Chocolate festival expands its reach of sweetness
Chocolate festival expands its reach of sweetness