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ChocolateFest opens May 25 with carnival in Burlington | Out & About

BURLINGTON — ChocolateFest returns Thursday through Monday, May 25-29, on the ChocolateFest grounds, 681 Maryland Ave. (off Highway 36).

The festival officially opens May 26, however, the carnival is open with free admission from 5 to 10 p.m. May 25.

The four-day festival brings chocolate lovers near and far to Burlington where vendors await to cater to their cocoa craving. A grand fireworks display takes place on May 26 (rain date May 27) and the Veterans Memorial Day Parade is at 9 a.m. May 29 throughout Downtown Burlington.

The main stage live music lineup:

  • Friday, May 26 — Big Al Wetzel Band (country, blues and classic rock) 6-8 p.m.; Lunch Money Bullies (high energy rock, blues), 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 27 — Squad 51 (classic rock and blues) 12:30 p.m.; Chris Jones (“America’s Got Talent” hypnotist), 4 p.m.; Separate Ways (Journey tribute band), 6 p.m.; Royal Bliss (rock, country and blues), 10 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 29 — Eric Diamond (Neil Diamond tribute), 12:30 p.m.; Reverend Raven (traditional blues), 4:30 p.m.; Bella Cain (high energy country and rock), 8:30 p.m.
  • Monday, May 30 — The Britins (Beatles tribute), noon; Orange Crush (pop, country and blues), 3:30 p.m.

The High School Battle of the Bands is at 6 p.m. May 25 with free admission. Adult Battle of the Bands is at 6 p.m. May 26.

The Chocolate Experience Tent will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. May 26, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 27-28 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 29. Chocolate experience taster tickets will be sold for $7. It includes 12 chocolate samples.

Festival events include hypnotist and magician Chris Jones, chocolate-eating contests, live chocolate sculpting, chef demonstrations, Granpa Cratchet, food and retail vendors, Commercial Expo Tent, petting zoo, NASCAR exhibit, Miss Jamie’s Farm and All American Lumberjack Show. 

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The Jaycees Arts & Crafts Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 27-28 at Echo Park, Highway 36.

Festival hours are 5 to 10 p.m. May 25 (carnival only, free admission), 4 p.m. to midnight May 26, 10 a.m. to midnight May 27-28 and noon to 7 p.m. May 29. Advance tickets cost $7 for ages 13 and older, $2.50 for children ages 5-12. There is no charge for ages 4 and younger. Tickets are available online until midnight May 25. Tickets at the gate cost $8 for ages 13 and older, and $3 for children ages 5-12. Pack the Pantry for Love, Inc. will be May 29 when admission is $5 or five nonperishable food items. On-grounds parking costs $5.

Pay-one-price carnival bands will be available for $25 in advance online until May 24, $30 on grounds. It includes unlimited rides for one day. The mega pass for unlimited carnival rides May 26-30 cost $75 and are available until May 25 at Richter’s Marketplace.

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