CREEDE— The weather was unseasonably warm as holiday shoppers made their way out of the big cities and up into the mountains for the annual Chocolate Festival Friday in Creede.
The temperatures were reaching into the 60s as the morning wore into the afternoon and the streets were lined in participants looking for the best chocolatey treat they could find. There were 15 businesses that participated in the event this year, making it one of the most successful years.
The object of the festival is to bring the holiday spirit in a small sweet treat to those who are on the lookout for Black Friday deals, but don’t want to stress coping with the immense crowds that come out for the holiday season. Businesses and local residents in Creede thought it would be a great way to bring people to their small town to partake in local history, holiday shopping and get a delicious, delectable homemade chocolate for their efforts.
On Friday, the weather prompted people to spend the day outside where children played in the park climbing over the old train cars while their parents wandered the festively decorated Main street. The businesses went all out with wreaths of all colors, signs supporting the Shop Local logo that sparkled in the sun and holiday characters, like Frosty the Snowman smiling out of the shop windows. Mr. and Mrs. Clause were even spotting from time to time wandering the streets, stopping to talk with children as they made the rounds.
Some of the businesses even brought tables out into the sunshine to serve their pleasing chocolate treats. The Creede Olive Oil Company set their festive table outside their doors and spoke with passersby as they handed out their treats, promoting their selective oils and savory wares that fill the shelves inside.
This year again featured the annual Scoop Chase, where participants of the Chocolate Festival could win special door prizes by asking questions about Creede and specific businesses that only the shopkeepers knew the answers to. The game opens the door to communication between the eager shoppers and business owners to form a home-like feeling for those visiting Creede. The Scoop Chase winners were announced each day between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
According to the chamber, there were about 35 winners of various prizes for the Scoop Chase that included theatre tickets, $25 cash prizes from the Creede & Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, restaurant gift certificates from Arp’s and MJ’s, beer tokens and drink coupons from Tommy Knocker Tavern, scarves from The Holy Moses, gift boxes containing multiple items from San Juan Sports , homeware items from Off Broadway, olive oil from Creede Olive Oil Co, home decor items from Rare Things Gallery, a t-shirt and a kitchen towel from The Blue Yak, Creede coffee mugs from the Underground Mining Museum, gift bags from Aspen Inn & Finding Gems, shirts from The Mac Mine, Downstream Gas and Mercantile and Kip’s Grill.
Winners of the Chocolate Festival for Friday were Arp’s in first place; the Episcopal Church took second place, and C. Waters Gallery came in third. Saturday’s winners were The Holy Moses in first, Ladies Aid Society in Second and Arp’s sweeping in for third. Best presentation for both Friday and Saturday went to San Juan Sports.