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Chocolate Festival returns to Naperville

Bring your sweet tooth and your favorite recipe to 360 Youth Services' annual festival

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  • Chocolate lovers can sample delicacies from vendors and pick up a few confectionery tips at the 11th annual Chocolate Festival benefiting 360 Youth Services.

       Chocolate lovers can sample delicacies from vendors and pick up a few confectionery tips at the 11th annual Chocolate Festival benefiting 360 Youth Services.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer, FEBRUARY 2013

By Dawn Portner
360 Youth Services

If you're among those who believe the four basic food groups are milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and everything else, 360 Youth Services' annual Chocolate Festival offers a place to sample from the first three categories and maybe even try a few things from the fourth group -- covered in one or more of the chocolate varieties, of course.

The 11th annual festival runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Neuqua Valley Freshman Center, 3220 Cedar Glade Drive, Naperville. Proceeds from the event benefit Naperville-based 360 Youth Services' programs to prevents substance abuse through counseling and self-esteem programs.

Chocoholics will find vendors offering free samples along with goodies for sale throughout the day as well as area chefs preparing unique chocolate treats.

If you have a recipe featuring chocolate that makes everyone swoon, consider entering the festival's sixth annual Sweet Treats Baking Competition. Contestants can submit cookies, brownies, candies, bars or a cake, and chocolate is a required ingredient.

All Sweet Treats entries must be on site between 10 and 11 a.m. No refrigeration is available, so items must be able to be displayed at room temperature. Entries will be judged on taste, appearance and creativity. Winners will be announced at 1:15 p.m. Judges include Naperville Mayor George Pradel, Naperville City Councilman Paul Hinterlong, Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis, Naperville Unit District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges, Indian Prairie Unit District 204 Superintendent Kathy Birkett and Danielle Tufano of 95.9 The River.

To sign up or receive more information about the contest, visit All entries must be received by, or mailed to 1305 W. Oswego Road, Naperville, IL 60540, by Monday, Jan. 13.

Beyond the chocolate, the festival offers a family activity room with moon jumps and games as well as live entertainment featuring dancing, martial arts and singing performances.

Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for ages 5 to 17 and free for younger children. For information and a schedule of events, visit or call (630) 961-2992, ext. 234.


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