Fireworks explode over the Ferris wheel Friday on the opening night of Burlington’s ChocolateFest. The city’s marquee festival endured a run that featured temperatures in the 90s. (Photo by Josiah Reno)

ChocolateFest is able to endure record heat to finish in the black

By Ed Nadolski

Editor in Chief

With temperatures more suited for melting rather than savoring chocolate, Burlington’s ChocolateFest withstood a string of 90-degree days last weekend to finish in the black for 2018.

Festival President Bil Scherrer on Wednesday estimated attendance and sales will be down about 10 percent across the board mainly due to the unseasonable heat.

“It was definitely one of the hotter ones on record,” he said. “But I’d rather have that than 50 degrees and rain.”

The bottom line, he said, is it appears the festival will be able to pay its bills, pay the volunteer groups who provide much of the labor and put some seed money aside for the 2019 event.

“Everyone makes money and it filters down into the community,” Scherrer said, referring to the volunteer groups that use the funds they earn at the festival for community programs, scholarships and service projects.

Last year ChocolateFest generated about $115,000 for the community groups, which was up about 7 percent over 2016, he said.

This year, Scherrer estimated the total will be slightly more than $100,000.

He also estimated that attendance will top the 30,000 mark, but will be less than the 37,733 that attended in 2017.

To read the entire story, see the May 31 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.