Big Island Chocolate Festival rescheduled to August

  • LAURA RUMINSKI/West Hawaii Today file photo Hawaii Community College-Palamanui culinary students Ayden Belanio and Alma Gorali prepare their Chocolate Temptation on April 26, 2019, during the Big Island Chocolate Festival College Student Competition at the Westin Hapuna Beach Hotel.

In the wake of the COVID-19 situation, the ninth Big Island Chocolate Festival has been rescheduled from May 1-2 to August 14-15.

The two-day chocolate extravaganza will be headquartered from the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. Activities for the eco-tourism festival include guided cacao plantation tours, several agriculture-themed and culinary seminars, plus a college culinary competition — all are open to the public.

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“We surveyed our 2020 ticket holders asking if we should cancel for 2020 or reschedule for August and the response was overwhelming to have the festival in August,” said even chairperson Stephanie Beeby. “So we are proceeding on that path, adjusting room reservations as requested; however, the majority of ticket holders will use their May tickets for August or the 2021 festival.”

The festival gala, featuring savory and sweet food booths, unlimited wine and beer pours, a silent auction, dancing, chocolate fountain and more, is slated for 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Aug 15.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, festival proceeds annually benefit a variety of local nonprofits. During the past eight years, the festival has awarded more than $140,000 to local beneficiaries.

The 2020 beneficiaries include the culinary programs at Hawaii Community College-Palamanui, Hawaii Island high schools and Maui Community College, plus Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture, Friends of the NELHA, Big Island Music &Arts Academy and Kona Dance &Performing Arts.

VIP gala tickets are on sale for $129 and general admission is $89. Also available are three different overnight room packages. All room packages include a pair of tickets to the Saturday evening gala.

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Additional ticket information can be found online at https://bigislandchocolatefestival.com/tickets/.

More information about the festival is available at https://bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

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