The seventh annual Oregon Chocolate Festival, March 4–6, is dedicated to Oregon chocolatiers and their creations. The Ashland celebration will bring together more than 30 local chocolate companies, presenting a variety of cacao-inspired and gourmet products that tease taste buds of over 1,500 visitors.

Kicking off the festival, guests can choose from several different events on Friday, including the Chocolate & Art Gallery Walk in downtown Ashland and the Chocolate & Wine Tasting at the ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum. At this particular event, chocolate truffles created by Kevin Shaw of Coastal Mist will be paired with wines from HV Cellars. The Chocolate Maker’s Dinner, also on Friday, will feature a four-course chocolate-inspired meal prepared by Ashland Springs Hotel executive chefs Kate Cyr and David Georgeson, as well as artisan presentations by a chocolatier and coffee roaster.

Saturday and Sunday, the main fair gets under way with Oregon chocolatiers and other specialty food vendors presenting their products for sampling and purchase at the Ashland Springs Hotel. Baking and cooking classes, chocolate competitions, seminars and chocolate spa treatments round out the offerings.

For all those chocolate-crazed kids, ScienceWorks will host “The Science of Chocolate” on Saturday.

Festival tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the Ashland Springs Hotel, 888-795-4545.

Theatre-goers who mention “chocolate” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival box office will receive 50 percent off tickets for shows during March 4–6.

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