Choctoberfest

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Posted Tue, Nov 1, 2016

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Honey Whiskey Chocolates by Animas Chocolate Co. lay up for the taking at the third annual Choctoberfest. [Photo: Michelle Risinger]

For those looking for layered chocolates, or fans of chili pairings, this year’s Choctoberfest would have disappointed. What it lacked in spice, it made up for in fruity centers and unique alcohol flavorings.

The Arapahoe County Fairgrounds doors burst open at 10 a.m. and the chocolatiers shuffle into position. Families of all sorts queue to enter the third annual Choctoberfest hosted by reverends Chris and Karen Mohr. A labyrinth of vendors weaves the crowd through the exhibitor’s hall.

And what chocolate festival would be complete without a melty, chocolatey fountain? This was free for the tasting. On average, each vendor charged one taste ticket for one truffle, with tickets being 12 for $10, making for a pretty good deal. Plus, admission was only $5.

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Marisa Baxter, owner of Truffles in Paradise, giggles and rough houses with her son at the third annual Choctoberfest as the judges count the votes of Best Truffle. [Photo: Michelle Risinger]

Marisa Baxter of Truffles in Paradise was the winner of People’s Choice for best truffle. This comes as no surprise as the line for her samples wrapped the hall—until they ran out. Other vendors where not so lucky. The companies advertising their spa products or holiday get-aways were settled in the corners of the room, hidden almost behind the stage. The cheese distributors did well for themselves, however.

Animas Chocolate Co. offers a honey whiskey dark chocolate truffle that is to die for. Another favorite belongs to Robin chocolate of Longmont, Colorado. By 4 p.m. all that was left was a raspberry heart and dark chocolate caramel. The heart was sorely underappreciated, and should have been the first to go.

Creative Chocolate Company owner Jane Walker commented on what inspired her to go into the chocolate business. “My brother is the one who does the molds, and he called me up and asked, what if I do one of the front range? I said I’ll see what I can do. It was definitely an on-the-whim thing,” Walker said.

By 4:30 the crowd hugged to one side of the hall and the energy levels dipped. Vendors were running out of samples.

In the last half hour of the event the vendors meandered and mingled while the people’s choice awards were counted. A light buzz of conversation filled the room as the attendees fight off the approaching sugar coma.

By 6:15, Rev. Chris Mohr thanked everyone for coming out, the remaining attendees made their way out to their cars, and the vendors packed up what was left at their booths.

After six months of fliers, advertising, and preparation, the third year of Choctoberfest had come and passed. Now the vendors and hosts alike hope for the public to join them once more for round four in 2017.

About Michelle Risinger

Michelle Risinger is a Denver-area freelance writer.

View all posts by Michelle Risinger

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