Hannibal shops prepare to indulge sweet tooth cravings at Chocolate Extravaganza

If you love chocolate, you can’t miss the Chocolate Extravaganza filled with creative temptations for your sweet tooth Saturday, March 10.

Each local merchant participating in the event will offer something sweet — whether it’s made from chocolate, reflects a chocolate theme or evokes Hannibal’s hospitality. Guests can purchase passports filled with tickets online or at the Mark Twain Museum from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the day of the event, at 120 N. Main St.

Martha Adrian, with the Mark Twain Book and Gift Shop — who will have a bag of chocolate and surprise gifts on hand for visitors — said the festival offers a unique atmosphere as spring draws near.

“I think it’s the time of year that people are ready to get out and do something —they’ve been in all winter,” she said. “They seem really happy to be here, and everybody has something different. They like to go from shop to shop and see what to spend their little coupons on.”

Linda Coleberd, owner of Mark Twain Cave, said a ticket can be exchanged for a glass of a guest’s choice of wine at Cave Hollow West Winery. She said she will also serve a chocolate Tootsie Roll-flavored drink and a snow-capped chocolate lava cake dessert to visitors. Tara Brown, with Chocolaterie Stam, said more than 30 varieties of bonbons and various chocolate gelato flavors will be on hand, including “chili chocolate” gelato made with a dash of cayenne pepper.

“It’s really cool when people can come in and look at the bonbons and see which one fits them best,” Brown said.

Coleberd said she feels the event offers a way for members of the community to gather together in an atmosphere that’s unique to downtown Hannibal.

“It’s a fun way to get everyone involved, especially when it comes to food and entertainment,” she said. “Hats off to the Historic Hannibal Marketing Council for all their wonderful ideas.”

Passports range from $25 to $100 — the $25 standard passport includes five tickets, the $50 experience passport contains 10 tickets and the $100 chocolatier passport includes 20 tickets. For more information, visit www.historichannibalmo.com, email chocolateextravaganzahannibal@gmail.com or call 636-385-0643.

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com