An event fit for the sweetest tooth is returning to Rotorua for another year, at the Rotorua Chocolate Festival.
Event creator and Boost Fundraising and Events director Alia Ryan has big plans for the chocolate festival and says it adds to the city's offerings for both residents and visitors.
“MELT is about having fun, being indulgent and sharing time with family and friends, all in a beautiful place.
“It is four days of chocolate powered indulgence with a mix of free and paid activities. MELT Central will be based in the cultural mecca of Kuirau Park and the location will bring something really special and unique to the Festival,” she says.
MELT Central includes chocolate themed vendors, exhibitors, demonstrations and products, a kids play area, entertainment and various activities each day across Easter Weekend from March 30 - April 2.
“There is something for everyone over the four days. The event opens on Good Friday evening with The Hits Cocoa Carnival, a free family carnival and parade in Kuirau Park, connecting the history of cocoa with rides, dressing up and having fun.
“Families can bring a picnic to enjoy and explore Kuirau park, or enter Melt Central with vendors, exhibitors and lots more chocolate goodness.
“Other events include the Great Chocolate Cook-off where you can show off your chocolate cooking skills, the Rotorua Museum Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday, the Fondue Breakfast on the Monday, plus cooking demonstrations and much more in MELT Central.”
Earlybird tickets are available now for MELT Central entry and the Fondue Breakfast. People can also register for the Fancy Dress Competition as part of the parade on Good Friday and enter the cooking competitions.
Alia says she is keen to get as many local businesses as possible involved. One local business owner who jumped at the chance to be part of the chocolate festival is Sarah Tatton from Cakealicious.
Sarah creates unique and decadent cakes for special occasions and is onboard to Judge both the Great Chocolate Cook-off and the Meat and Sweet Charcoal BBQ Competition. In addition, she will run a cooking demonstration to show how to work with chocolate.
“I am really looking forward to judging the cooking competitions. It will be great to see what chocolate creations people will come up with.
“The chocolate BBQ competition will be interesting to see how chocolate can be incorporated in barbeques.
“For the cooking demo I will decorate a chocolate drip style cake, which is currently a very popular style of cake. I will show different techniques I use for chocolate decorations. At the end of the Festival the cake will be raffled off to a lucky winner.”
She is excited to be part of MELT and believes it's a great for the city.
“Events are a great way to get the public involved and for people to expand their horizons. To do, see and taste things differently. And this one is all about chocolate. What is there not to get excited about.”
For tickets or more information about MELT: Festival of Chocolate go to www.meltrotorua.co.nz