Modified Cocoa Crawl still offers chocolate delights
The Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association has modified its first major event of 2021 to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
The Long Grove Cocoa Crawl, set for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 6-7, will combine a new virtual application with the traditional in-person model to provide a safer experience for all.
A winter tradition for the last three years, the fourth annual Cocoa Crawl will feature merchants around the historic downtown district teaming up for a family-friendly weekend where visitors can crawl out of winter hibernation for a cocoa-infused scavenger hunt.
"Due to COVID-19, we decided to modify the Cocoa Crawl this year to prevent 2,000-plus people from coming into town at once," said Jesse DeSoto, president of the event's organizer, the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association.
"We chose to spread the event out over two days and are utilizing a special app that will work to create a new and safe Cocoa Crawl weekend experience, one part virtual, one part in-person."
Advance registration, which is required this year in order to limit the amount of participants, is available at www.longgrove.org/festivals/cocoa-crawl.
The charge for Cocoa Crawl 2021 will be $20 per group, with a maximum of six people per group. Once participants are signed up for the event, they will check in at the Visitor's Center, 308 Old McHenry Road, to receive a QR code to download the required scavenger hunt app.
The app will direct consumers to locations around historic downtown Long Grove to complete their cocoa quests. Those who finish their quest will return to the Visitor's Center to be entered into a drawing to win prizes donated by the participating merchants.
The drawing will take place Monday, Feb. 8, and the winners will have one week to pick up their prizes. Although there will be no cocoa sampling inside stores during Cocoa Crawl weekend (to help mitigate crowd gatherings), many merchants will provide complimentary, prepackaged cocoa treats to take home.
In addition to the Cocoa Crawl scavenger hunt, visitors can also enjoy a carriage ride throughout historic downtown Long Grove Saturday, Feb. 6. There will be a $15 fee to reserve carriage rides for up to six people and advance registration, including a waiver, is required for each group online at longgrove.org/festivals/cocoa-crawl.
COVID-19 measures for Cocoa Crawl 2021:
• People will not be able to sample indoors during Cocoa Crawl but will be able to enjoy their treat later at home or when outdoors, where social distancing can be practiced.
• Only prepackaged cocoa treats will be given to visitors.
• Face masks are required to enter participating locations.
• Hand sanitizer will be provided at participating locations.
• The event will be spread throughout the weekend instead of one day.