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posted: 5/5/2012 4:33 PM

Cool tempertures still attract crowds at Long Grove fest

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  • Aliyah Evans, 5, of Lakemoor, enjoys a chocolate-covered strawberry at the second day of the Long Grove Chocolate Fest on Saturday. The fest continues Sunday with chocolaty treats, live music, workshops, wine, live music and children's activities.

       Aliyah Evans, 5, of Lakemoor, enjoys a chocolate-covered strawberry at the second day of the Long Grove Chocolate Fest on Saturday. The fest continues Sunday with chocolaty treats, live music, workshops, wine, live music and children's activities.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Festival goers were able to enter the second day of the Long Grove Chocolate Fest through the village's covered bridge on Saturday.

       Festival goers were able to enter the second day of the Long Grove Chocolate Fest through the village's covered bridge on Saturday.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Aliyah Evans, 5, of Lakemoor, enjoys a chocolate-covered strawberry during the second day of the Long Grove Chocolate Fest on Saturday.

       Aliyah Evans, 5, of Lakemoor, enjoys a chocolate-covered strawberry during the second day of the Long Grove Chocolate Fest on Saturday.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

  • Fest goers enjoyed chocolaty treats, live music, workshops and wine during the second day of the Long Grove Chocolate Fest on Saturday.

       Fest goers enjoyed chocolaty treats, live music, workshops and wine during the second day of the Long Grove Chocolate Fest on Saturday.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
 

Hot chocolate would have been a big seller at the Long Grove Chocolate Fest Saturday as cool temperatures and a slight mist set a chill in the air.

But the lack of sunshine didn't deter people from visiting the annual pre-summer chocolate festival that draws about 20,000 people to the three-day event ending today.

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"The weather could have helped us a little more, but we are seeing a pretty good crowd," said Claire Ball, of Long Grove Business & Community Partners. "Everybody seems to be having a good time," he added.

Fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate, chocolate doughnuts and chocolate martinis were highlights at the event that also included live music, an assortment of restaurants, and arts and craft displays. Children's rides, face painting and chocolate samples were other highlights.

Some of the festival vendors were also wishing for sunny skies.

"It's too cold. A lot of people are complaining about the weather," said Candace Cortese of the Great Grape, a Deer Park business that serves hand-dipped Belgium, dark, milk and white chocolate-covered grapes.

Despite the temperature, shoppers seemed to enjoy the festival and the chocolate.

"It's my first time here for the chocolate fest. I'm really impressed," said Janie Piccolo of McHenry. "She's like a kid in the candy story," said David Giuliani of Sterling as he ate a piece of sweet corn.

Bryan Wasserman and his family said they come to the festival every year. The Buffalo Grove family ate lunch while listening to live music. "It's nice to walk around and see all the people. It's a nice atmosphere," he said.

"We always grab a chocolate cookie and some chocolate-covered strawberries on the way out," he added.

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