It’s time to get cozy with a hot cup of cocoa, bundle up against the brisk winter weather and spend a few hours on a sweet “treasure hunt” of chocolaty goodness that could put Willy Wonka to shame.
The annual Coupeville Chocolate Walk is 11 a.m. to about 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9, time dependent on when individual shops close.
The stroll leads chocolate enthusiasts through Coupeville’s historic downtown and beyond to collect chocolates from participating businesses. Tickets are $25 per person and may be purchased in advance or day-of.
The tickets are available at online at eventbrite.com, locally at the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce on Alexander street, or at the Coupeville Rec Hall on Saturday.
“We have about 25 businesses participating, from Front Street to all around Coupeville,” said Coupeville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lynda Eccles.
A full list of participants and map are on pages 8-9 of this edition of the Whidbey News-Times, which sponsors the event with the chamber.
One ticket buys a bag big enough to hold all the chocolates, and there really will be a lot of chocolates, so sharing isn’t a bad idea.
Especially for families, Eccles said.
“There’s enough chocolates for everyone to enjoy.”
There will be a wide range of goodies, starting with a hot chocolate bar in the Coupeville Rec Hall, where all participants will also be checking in and receiving their first chocolate goodies.
Treats range from chocolate-covered Oreo cookies, peanut butter cups and truffles to chocolate-covered coffee beans.
“We are handing out our wonderful chocolate walnut bites. They have lavender in them too,” Sarah Richards of Lavender Wind said in an email. “They are gluten-free and are like brownies in a cookie form.”
The event has about 160 tickets available.
Hopefully, the weather will be nice and clear for Saturday, Eccles said. “I’ll keep my fingers crossed.”
Many businesses are providing their own chocolate treats. Others ordered from local suppliers such as Sweet Mona’s in Langley and Coupeville’s Honey Bear.
“On a cold winter day, having a family-oriented fun day and enjoying what we have to offer here,” Eccles said. “It’s a great atmosphere. ”
The event isn’t so much a fundraiser as a “shop local” campaign, Eccles said.
“It’s all about shopping local and benefiting businesses,” Eccles said.
And many people who attend the walk are not locals, she said. Already, they’ve gotten ticket orders from people from Seattle, Bellingham. Tacoma and beyond.
“It does bring people to the island,” she said. And while they’re here, they can check out the museum, library or even the hiking trails to “walk off all the chocolate the eat,” Eccles said.
The first Coupeville Chocolate Walk was held in 2016, the idea brought to the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce by Whidbey News Group Publisher Keven Graves.
Rebecca Robinson, of Windermere Real Estate, worked with Eccles to plan this year’s event.
Last year, they had about 140 visitors, and they’re hoping for more this year since it’s always growing, Robinson said.
“It’s very easy to do and it’s fun to do,” Robinson said.
“People are all so happy. It’s just fun and it’s cheap,” Robinson said. “For $25 you can get a ton of chocolate. It’s wonderful.”
“It’s our Willy Wonka walk,” Robinson said with a laugh.
• For information, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/coupeville-chocolate-walk-tickets-54279451300