Sweet Tooth

La Grange Crossroads District plans Chocolate lovers event

Chocolate Crawl gets Main Street
area businesses involved

LA GRANGE, Ky. (February 2016) – For many La Grange, Ky., business owners, such as Sue Ann Birchfield, the annual Chocolate Crawl is “such a fun way to cure that cabin fever that starts to set in this time of year.”
Birchfield is co-owner of Rainy Day Resale, along with her daughter, Raine Wallace. The Chocolate Crawl is “always a fun and busy day. Last year it also happened to be a gorgeous day, and there was another event in town that drew a crowd, so we had record numbers of participants.” Rainy Day Resale, an upscale consignment shop, is located at 200 E. Main St.
In addition to offering brownies with umbrella icing last year, Birchfield also provided small cups of ice water, which “seemed to be as popular as the treats! Apparently it was much needed to wash down all that chocolate.”

Also participating this year in the sixth annual Chocolate Crawl will be Kim Silcox, owner of Picked ’n Painted, 109 E. Main St. Silcox hasn’t decided yet just what she will make for this year’s Chocolate Crawl. Last year, she offered Raspberry Ganache Chocolate Hearts.
“Last year, we had a beautiful day for it, so we had twice as many people as expected,” said Silcox. “It’s a way to bring out the community and show what La Grange has to offer.”
The event is sponsored by the La Grange Crossroads District, the city’s Main Street Program. Business owners are required to provide their own treats. Last year, it was estimated that 500 people participated in the popular event. Due to this phenomenal turnout, Silcox, like many other business owners, “ran out of candy.”
This year, ticket sales will be limited to 500 tickets, so business owners can adequately plan for the turnout. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13. Tickets are $10 each and sales have already begun online at www.Lagrange
All of the businesses are on or within a block of Main Street in downtown La Grange.  Participants are given a ticket which they take to each participating business to get stamped or initialed. Tickets are turned in so the purchaser will be entered in a drawing for a gift basket with a $50 gift certificate, jewelry, chocolates and more.   
“We started the Chocolate Crawl for two reasons,” said Karen Eldridge, Executive Director for La Grange Crossroad District. One reason was to have “an event to get people in town in February, and then it was decided the funds could go toward Light Up La Grange.” The latter event is the biggest event the organization holds throughout the year in downtown La Grange.
On an average, more than 20 businesses participate, said Eldridge. In past years the cost for the Chocolate Crawl was $5, but “this year we have raised the price of the ticket because most of the businesses do make their own treats.”
Treat bags are handed out so that participants do not have to eat the sweet confections all at once but can save them to savor later. “We have had some wonderful treats. Everyone gets one treat at each location, and the sizes vary, because it would be easy to overload before the end of the day,” said Eldridge.
“We had quite a few people from Louisville last year,” Silcox said. “People who didn’t know it was going on but decided to participate while they were here.” People seem to “enjoy the excitement, the bags of goodies.”
Last year, some of the businesses that participated and gave away goodies included: 
La Grange Coffee Roasters (Lattes), Q&A Sweet Treats (Flourless Raspberry Torte with Chocolate Ganache), Old Oak Frame House (Chocolate Pretzel Turtles), Blooms by Essential Details (Virginia Diner Chocolate Dipper Peanuts), Karen’s Book Barn (Fine Chocolates) and Serendipity Café (Chocolate Dipped Bacon, Pretzels, Twinkies and Oreos).
Birchfield said this event “is so much fun, appeals to all ages both male and female, and who doesn’t love chocolate? It’s a perfect event to do with your significant other, with a group of girlfriends, or to share special time with a family member.”
Depending on the weather, many people tend to stick around and browse the shops, said Silcox. They stay around and, “find out what La Grange is all about.”
Gallery 104 will also be participating in this year’s Chocolate Crawl. Executive Director Brenda Marks said Gallery 104, located at 104 E. Main St., will offer handmade chocolate covered cherries.
“We try to participate in all Main Street, La Grange activities,” said Marks of Gallery 104, which is operated by the Arts Association of Oldham County. “We strongly believe in the small businesses in downtown
La Grange.”
Andrea Essenpreis said, “This is my favorite event that the La Grange Crossroads District does.” Essenpreis owns Q&A Sweet Treats, at 211 S. First St.

“It’s such a great way not to spend much money and treat yourself at the same time. All ages participate, she said, from children to seniors. If the weather is nice, like it was last year, its makes a “nice day to get out and walk around, and burn off some of the calories from the chocolate.”

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