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McLean Chocolate Festival Returns

New venue allows for more attendance, vendors.

Visitors enjoy a chocolate fountain from Capitol Chocolate Fountains at last year’s McLean Chocolate Festival. This year’s festival will be Sunday, Jan. 27 at McLean High School.

Visitors enjoy a chocolate fountain from Capitol Chocolate Fountains at last year’s McLean Chocolate Festival. This year’s festival will be Sunday, Jan. 27 at McLean High School. Photo Contributed

— The McLean Rotary Club will welcome chocolate lovers from all over Sunday, Jan. 27 at McLean High School for the second annual McLean Chocolate Festival.

"We tried our best to make this event to appeal to a broad range of people. When this event was planned, it was to draw a large part of the community, and the thought was, who doesn’t like chocolate?" said Steve Richardson of the Rotary Club of McLean. "Of course we’re focused on chocolate and the chefs involved are all working on some special recipes. But we’ll have a children’s room, live entertainment and other games and activities. With a chocolate theme of course."

Last year the event, which was held at the McLean Community Center, drew more than 3,000 people, prompting members of the Rotary to search out a larger venue.

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Chocolates from Connie’s Chocolate Confections of Alexandria on display at last year’s McLean Chocolate Festival. This year’s festival will be at a bigger venue, McLean High School, and will take place Saturday, Jan. 27.

"The crowd last year sort of overwhelmed the community center, and from feedback we heard after, parking was especially a problem," Richardson said. "We felt a larger facility like McLean High School would help with parking and with easier access."

More than 20 vendors will be presenting signature treats, all including chocolate in some form or another. Local confectioners such as Fairfax-based Dave’s Candy Kitchen, Alexandria-based Connie’s Chocolate Confections, McLean-based Fluffy Thoughts and Cocoa Vienna will present chocolates, toffees, cookies, cupcakes, fudge and more.

Other more traditional restaurants, such as Tysons Corner’s Brio Tuscan Grille and Seasons 52 will present chocolate twists on their classic favorites. Brio will sell mini dolchino chocolate caramel cakes, and Seasons 52 will have individual portions of desserts, as well as peanut butter chocolate swirl and rocky road ice cream.

Community groups will also be pitching in with their specialties—members of the Vinson Hall Retirement Community will sell cookies, pecan pie, brownies and bacon, all with chocolate. Chesterbrooks residences will sell a variety of fudges, chocolate pecan pie and chocolate strawberries.

"It’s something to fill the weekend with no football, between the championship games and the Super Bowl," Richardson said. "We got a lot of good feedback last year, and the one quote I always remember is someone who said they ‘ate chocolate like they had never eaten chocolate before.’"

The McLean Rotary Club will use 25 percent of all proceeds from the festival to support their philanthropic efforts, which include the Falls Church McLean Children’s Festival, Alternative House and Timber Lane Elementary School.

The festival will take place Sunday, Jan. 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at McLean High School. Admission is $2. More information is available at The McLean Rotary Club will welcome chocolate lovers from all over Sunday, Jan. 27 at McLean High School for the second annual McLean Chocolate Festival.

"We tried our best to make this event to appeal to a broad range of people. When this event was planned, it was to draw a large part of the community, and the thought was, who doesn’t like chocolate?" said Steve Richardson of the Rotary Club of McLean. "Of course we’re focused on chocolate and the chefs involved are all working on some special recipes. But we’ll have a children’s room, live entertainment and other games and activities. With a chocolate theme of course."

Last year the event, which was held at the McLean Community Center, drew more than 3,000 people, prompting members of the Rotary to search out a larger venue.

"The crowd last year sort of overwhelmed the community center, and from feedback we heard after, parking was especially a problem," Richardson said. "We felt a larger facility like McLean High School would help with parking and with easier access."

More than 20 vendors will be presenting signature treats, all including chocolate in some form or another. Local confectioners such as Fairfax-based Dave’s Candy Kitchen, Alexandria-based Connie’s Chocolate Confections, McLean-based Fluffy Thoughts and Cocoa Vienna will present chocolates, toffees, cookies, cupcakes, fudge and more.

Other more traditional restaurants, such as Tysons Corner’s Brio Tuscan Grille and Seasons 52 will present chocolate twists on their classic favorites. Brio will sell mini dolchino chocolate caramel cakes, and Seasons 52 will have individual portions of desserts, as well as peanut butter chocolate swirl and rocky road ice cream.

Community groups will also be pitching in with their specialties—members of the Vinson Hall Retirement Community will sell cookies, pecan pie, brownies and bacon, all with chocolate. Chesterbrooks residences will sell a variety of fudges, chocolate pecan pie and chocolate strawberries.

"It’s something to fill the weekend with no football, between the championship games and the Super Bowl," Richardson said. "We got a lot of good feedback last year, and the one quote I always remember is someone who said they ‘ate chocolate like they had never eaten chocolate before.’"

The McLean Rotary Club will use 25 percent of all proceeds from the festival to support their philanthropic efforts, which include the Falls Church McLean Children’s Festival, Alternative House and Timber Lane Elementary School.

The festival will take place Sunday, Jan. 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at McLean High School. Admission is $2. More information is available at www.mcleanchocolatefestival.org. .