20th Annual Oregon Chocolate Festival kicks off

ASHLAND, Ore.- If you have a sweet tooth, you might want to be in Ashland this weekend. The 20th Annual Oregon Chocolate Festival kicked off on March 1st.

Chocoholics will be ecstatic to know that the festival takes place all weekend long, with different events like a chocolate competition, a vendor marketplace, educational presentations, family activities and more.

On March 1st, chocolate lovers met at the Ashland Springs Hotel for the Chocolate Maker’s Wine Dinner. The sold-out dinner featured a five-course meal with chocolatey twists and wine pairings. 100% of the proceeds from the dinner are donated to The Studio at Living Opportunities, a local nonprofit designed to make art workshops accessible to all.

The festival’s Founder and Organizer, Karolina Lavagnino, says she’s thrilled to see how it’s grown over the last twenty years.

“I’m very proud of the event that has grown to this size and has attracted so many people and chocolatiers from all over,” Lavagnino said, “This year we have five states represented so I’m excited immensely”.

Lavagnino says when the festival first started, they only had fourteen vendors. But this year, there’s close to sixty.

The vendor marketplace is happening March 2nd and 3rd from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Ashland Hills Hotel. You can see the entire schedule for the festival and get your tickets on the festival’s website.

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NBC5 News Reporter Lauren Pretto grew up in Livermore, California and attended University of California, Santa Cruz, graduating with a double major in Film/Digital Media and Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. Lauren is a lover of books, especially Agatha Christie and Gothic novels. When her nose isn't buried in a book, she knits, bakes, and writes.
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