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Plenty to enjoy at Chocolate Fest

KENT — “They’re gonna run out,” was whispered in the Kent Center School hallways Feb. 8. People craned their necks for a glimpse into the cafeteria as they waited in a line that stretched down two corridors and out the front door. Anxiety rose as the line was passed by those lucky enough to have gotten their red plates full of chocolate goodness.

It was the 17th annual Kent Chocolate Fest to benefit the school scholarship fund, and in the kitchen volunteers laughed at the notion that they might run out, as they plated a steady supply of donated goodies. At three tables, guests were urged to fill those plates with brownies, fudge, cupcakes, truffles and chocolate-covered pretzels.

It seems it is down to a science.

Well, not quite. This year worked out perfectly, said Lee Sohl, who headed up the fest.

“It makes me a little nervous because we just let it flow. There’s no way to plan it. Last year I was trying to sell the stuff to teachers the next day. The year before we ran out with 10 people left in line.”

A final accounting was still in the works earlier this week, but she said they made up 100 “to-go” plates and served an estimated 500 more. They expect to clear about $3,500.

While most of the children (and adults) dove right into their chocolate-laden plates, there were plenty of self-imposed and parent-imposed rules about how much to eat now, and what to save for later.

Ariel Battelstein, 5, spent quite a while choosing the one item their mom said she could have before dinner. She carefully considered, hands on hips, each cupcake, cookie and truffle, after lining them up across the table. In the end, she unwrapped the biggest cupcake of all, topped with a mound of whipped icing. The irony: She wasn’t  able to finish it in one sitting.

Meanwhile, her brother, Elijah, 7, was busy taking care of chocolate-eating business, the sooner to get dinner out of the way. His strategy for getting the sweetest bang for his mom’s five bucks is to get “lots of small things.”

For Tristan Blore, it was quite a sixth-birthday celebration. His favorite was pretzels dipped in the chocolate fountain. After eating several, he asked if he could have a pretzel without chocolate (maybe a palate cleansing thing).

“The rule is you can’t have anything plain,” his sister, Reegan, 7 1⁄2, said, summing up the philosophy of the day.

He got some anyway.

And who had to worry about added calories when there were Zumba demonstrations with which to burn them off? Mountain Falls Fitness Studio offered the chance to try the fast-paced dance workout. More irony; those taking advantage of the chocolate calorie burning fun was a bunch of energetic, young girls who looked like they couldn’t gain an ounce for trying.

Click here for another photo from the Chocolate Fest.

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