PORTSMOUTH — There is nothing like the sweet deliciousness of melting chocolate as it hits your tongue, and what better place to get to taste and sample chocolate of all kinds, than at the Chocolate Walk Goes Spooky on Mainstreet Portsmouth Saturday.
The original Chocolate Walks on Mainstreet have been held in February, but when the pandemic hit, many events were either closed or changed and that is basically what happened with the Chocolate Walk in Portsmouth. This year’s Walk is this Saturday, October 2, 2021, starting at 10:30 a.m. with the starting point at the Port City Cafe & Pub.
Joseph Pratt, Executive Director of Mainstreet Portsmouth spoke about the event and the change implemented this year.
“The Chocolate Walk has always been in February since the founders of the Chocolate Walk started it, which was in the very early days of Mainstreet Portsmouth,” Pratt said. “One of the founders was Ellen Vetter, who was very instrumental in getting the Mainstreet program started, along with a board of several others.”
Pratt shared Vetter had a chocolate shop on 2nd Street called, ‘Be Sweet’ and she was just fantastic so they named the Chocolate Walk after her, and have had it around Valentine’s Day. This past year Mainstreet Portsmouth wasn’t able to do it because many of the vendors at the time, were very cautious about the pandemic.
”We talked about doing it in the summer but then it’s a little too warm for that, Pratt said. “Then it made sense, let’s just tie it into Halloween. I called around to a lot of the businesses and they were very receptive. There are a couple of new stops on the walk and there are those who decided to stay out this year.”
Pratt explained the reason he really wanted to push for the event is when the pandemic first shut things down it was immediately following the Chocolate Walk and our annual dinner.
”When things started getting a little better, we started off almost exactly where we left off the year before, so either we missed events that first year or we missed the first half the second year,” Pratt said. “By doing the Chocolate Walk in the Fall, it will be the only Mainstreet event that we’ve never missed because of the pandemic.”
Pratt shared that he knows that a couple of vendors have talked about doing some spooky chocolates, but for the most part it will just be a pretty average Chocolate Walk. It is just that this year they are using the Halloween theme instead of Valentine’s one. He added that tickets for this year’s walk have been selling out quickly, and if participants want to go this Saturday, they should purchase tickets quickly.
“The people arrive at Port City Cafe & Pub at the starting time and will give us a ticket. They will then get a Shawnee State-sponsored bag and it already has a few little treats in it and there is a map and people will then take the map and look at the stops,” Pratt said. “They will make a route and walk around and check out the many businesses and attractions that are hosting. They will fill their bag with the goodies that can be put in the bag and they will partake in the treats if they decide when they are at the businesses.”
Pratt added, “This is the event, that out of all our events, is the one that the day we announce it, we get so many calls from people who want us to save tickets, but we try not to do that by guiding them to go pick up their tickets. It’s hard to keep track of them, because so many people want to attend this event. This is easily our most beloved event..the Chocolate Walk seems to be the one that people most look forward to.”
All proceeds from the event will go to Mainstreet Portsmouth and their focus on historic preservation, beautification, event planning downtown, organization, marketing of downtown, and park development.
”We do a lot of cool stuff, I think people most visibly see our presence through the flowers and parks downtown. We are constantly moving around trying to make, not just downtown, but the city of Portsmouth a better place,” Pratt said.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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