The 12th annual Chocolate on the Beach Festival in Pacific Beach takes place this Thursday through Sunday, stretching along the North Coast through what is called the 13 miles of chocolates, including Moclips, Aloha, Copalis Crossing, Seabrook, Copalis Beach and Ocean City.
This year’s event has a Sci-Fi theme: “Chocolate is out of this World!” Festival organizer Stephanie Allstad, known throughout the area as “The Chocolate Lady,” explained that around 13 members of the PDX Superheroes Coalition will bring 20 costumes depicting well known science fiction characters, and will appear throughout the festival, including Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning breakfasts with the costumed characters.
“It’s a lot of fun to have the guys wandering thru the festival,” she added.
The Chocolate on the Beach Festival started as a small fund-raiser for the Museum of the North Beach, and now supports organizations and groups in the North Beach area, with more than $41,000 donated in the past seven years for historical, educational and community projects.
“The idea of our festival is there’s something chocolate for everyone,” Allstad said. The event showcases chocolate in all kinds of uses and recipes, with a wide range of confections containing chocolate, but also some more exotic applications, such as a chocolate pickling brine.
While the event does range up the coast, the most active locations are in Pacific Beach. The North Beach Community Center at the Grays Harbor Fire District #8 station, 4576 SR109, dubbed “The Chocolate Station” for the event weekend, will host chocolate demos, cooking and educational classes Friday through Sunday. Approximately 35 vendors will be at Pacific Beach Elementary Saturday and Sunday, and the Navy Getaways complex at 108 First St. N will host a variety of free and ticketed activities all four days, including free science fiction movies at 11 a.m. and 2, 5 and 8 p.m. daily.
A $5 ticket ($1 for teens, free for kids) buys a bracelet good for admission to the Vendor Building at PB Elementary and demonstrations at the North Beach Community Center. Sunday is Public Safety Day, with free admission for all EMS, all branches of law enforcement, fire, 9-1-1 dispatchers and all branches of active/retired military.
A wealth of information, including detailed daily schedules, is available online at www.chocolateonthebeachfestival.com.
• March 1-3: UFO/Paranormal Summit, Quinault Beach Resort & Casino. The annual conference features researchers in the UFO and Paranormal worlds as well as new researchers as they present their evidence, theories and information.
Includes paranormal-related vendors throughout the resort grounds, seminars on Saturday and Sunday, and sessions for witness testimony. To register and for more information, visit online: www.ufosummit.com.
• March 2-3: Beachcombers Fun Fair at the Convention Center.
• March 16-17: Razor Clam Festival & Seafood Extravaganza, sponsored by the Ocean Shores Chamber of Commerce, at the Convention Center.
• May 11: Youth Fishing Derby, sponsored by Ocean Shores Elks Lodge, at North Bay Park.
• May 11-12: More Urban Unglued exotic gear vendor show at the Convention Center.
• May 24-26: Expo at the Convention Center.
• June 1: Wearable Art Show at the Convention Center.
• June 8-9: Grays Harbor County Festival of Colors kite flying event on the beach at Damon Road.
• June 8: Flag Day Parade, sponsored by the Ocean Shores Elks, on Pt. Brown Ave. and Chance a la Mer St., ending at the Convention Center.
• June 28-30: Sand & Sawdust Festival, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, at the Convention Center.
• June 28-30: AAOS Juried Fine Art, Photo and 3D Show at the Convention Center.
• July 26-28: Bikers at the Beach at the Convention Center.
• Aug. 10: Ocean Shores Woof-a-Thon, North Beach High School.
• Aug. 24-25: Ocean Shores Body & Soul Festival at the Convention Center.
• Aug. 30-Sept. 1: AAOS Arts & Crafts Festival at the Convention Center.
• Aug. 31: Paddle the Shores, Oyhut Bay Seaside Village.
• Sept. 20-22: Whale of a Quilt Show, Convention Center.
• Oct. 16-20: Celtic Music Festival, Galway Bay and Convention Center.
• Nov. 29.-Dec. 1: Winter Fanta-Sea, Convention Center.