Across the globe, cultures celebrate a countless number of things. While many of these annual events are faith-based, others celebrate harvests, seasons, animals, plants, celestial events, foods, and even beer! In Belize, we too find much to celebrate and revere, with one of my favorites being the annual Belize Chocolate Festival. What a worthy recipient of admiration and love! Traditionally held over the Commonwealth Holiday weekend (mid-May) in Punta Gorda, Toledo District, the mighty cacao AKA chocolate has had its very own festival since 2007.
This year the anticipated weekend event kicks-off with their popular Wine and Chocolate Gala on Friday, May 24th at Garbutt’s Marine starting at 7PM. Talk about a match made in heaven! Guests enjoy an evening of meeting Belizean artisans while sampling their exquisite chocolates and sipping delicious wine. Tasty appetizers are also served, and the ambiance is warm with twinkling lights and live music performed by talented Belizean artists. It’s the perfect evening of mixing and mingling while indulging in chocolate and charismatic culture.
Although chocolate is the star of this event, the festival also celebrates the many different ethnicities of Belize and their cultural beliefs. On Saturday the Taste of Toledo Street Fair is held along the Front Street of Punta Gorda overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Chocolatiers, artisans, vendors, food merchants, chocolate making demonstrations and beer tents line the street for several blocks from 10am to 5pm while visitors have fun interacting with the booths, eating great food and enjoying live Maya and Creole music and cultural performances. There are drink specials and even stage competitions for the public with great prizes to win. Fun children activities include face painting and a scavenger hunt.
If you plan on attending this super fun festival be sure to book a room sooner than later, as Punta Gorda Town fills up fast! For more information, please visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BelizeChocolateFestival. Tickets for the Wine and Chocolate Gala can be at the purchased at the Tourist Information Officer on Front Street in Punta Gorda or contact Charmagne Westby Ramirez at 722-2531 or email [email protected].