From the Bel Air Downtown Alliance:
The Bel Air Downtown Alliance celebrated the 10th Anniversary of their Chocolate & Candy Festival this past Saturday, March 5th at the Bel Air Armory. It was a fun-filled and family-friendly afternoon in Downtown Bel Air that featured local and regional chocolatiers, candy makers, and sweet treat merchants offering free samples of decadent treats, as well as, activities for kids and people of all ages with their Children’s Activity and 2nd Annual Downtown Bel Air Scavenger Hunt. The event also featured the results of their Chocolate & Candy Festival Logo Design Contest and a People’s Choice Logo Design Contest for the logo designs submitted by local students.
“It was a spectacular day in Downtown Bel Air,” reported Scott T. Walker, Executive Director of the Bel Air Downtown Alliance. “We are very pleased to report that we welcomed nearly 1,500 people from in and around Bel Air, MD – a new record for this event,” he continued. Mr. Walker attributes the success of this year’s event to the fact that 17 chocolatiers, candy makers, and sweet treat merchants were on-site with free samples and products for sale. “For the past few years, we were unable to secure what we believed to be an appropriate number of chocolate and candy vendors. This year marked our 10th Anniversary and the Planning Committee wanted to make sure that we had plenty of chocolate and candy vendors for our guests to really enjoy an event that is designed to be all about chocolate and candy,” he explained. Mr. Walker thanked Bel Air Bakery, Flavor Cupcakery, Moore’s Candies, Wockenfuss Candies, Shamrock Coffee, Stephanie’s Sweets, Bomboy’s Home Made Candy, Coffee Coffee, Sweet Devotion Cupcake & Creperie Cafe, Dove Chocolate Discoveries, Bel Air Kettle Corn, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, Tastefully Simple, Broom’s Bloom Dairy, Rita’s Italian Ice-Forest Hill, Flowers by Lucy, and Mary Sue Candies for being a part of their 10th Anniversary. “It was their support and generosity that helped to make this event incredibly special and an enormous success,” he concluded.
In addition to all of the chocolate, candy, and sweet treats, the event also featured a Children’s Activity Area with chocolate and candy themed crafts and games, as well as, their 2nd Annual Downtown Bel Air Scavenger Hunt, an activity that sends people out to explore Downtown Bel Air in search of prizes hidden at various locations. “It is very important to us to make sure that our events are attractive to people of all ages. The Children’s Activity Area and the Scavenger Hunt create additional opportunities for everyone to enjoy this event. The Scavenger Hunt is also a great way to invite our guests to explore everything that is so wonderful about Downtown Bel Air – our shops, boutiques, and restaurants,” he explained.
This year, the Chocolate & Candy Festival also featured a Logo Design Contest to find a new logo for the festival. The contest was open to public and they received nearly three dozen logo designs from professional and student artists. Shirl Fitzpatrick, from Bel Air, submitted the winning logo. Dawn Devoe, from Bel Air, was the 1st Runner-Up, and Melinda Funk, from Aberdeen, was the 2nd Runner Up. Since so many designs were submitted by local students, the festival also featured a People’s Choice Award. All of the designs were on display and the Chocolate & Candy Festival attendees were invited to vote for their favorite student designs. Nearly 300 votes were cast. 1st Place was awarded to Megan Zack from Patterson Mill MS/HS, 2nd Place was awarded to John Dent from Patterson Mill MS/HS, and 3rd Place was awarded to Samuel Howlett from the Boys and Girls Club of Harford County. All of the winners were awarded with prizes donated from local shops, boutiques, and restaurants. All of the designs submitted will be on display at Town Hall for the next few weeks.
“The Chocolate & Candy Festival is the first big event of the year for the Bel Air Downtown Alliance. We are so happy that this year’s festival was such an amazing success,” Mr. Walker stated. The Bel Air Downtown Alliance raised nearly $11,000.00 at this year’s Chocolate & Candy Festival. The money raised at this event, as well as, all of their events throughout the year (First Fridays, the Outdoor Movies at Shamrock Park, and the MD State BBQ Bash), helps to support their mission of creating a vibrant business community and visitor friendly destination in Downtown Bel Air. Mr. Walker also thanked the following people for their support and generosity in helping to make the 10th Annual Chocolate & Candy Festival a success:
SPONSORS: 2K Marketing, Patch.com, Party Palace, APGFCU, Harford Artists Gallery, Bel Air Athletic Club, My Gym-Bel Air, Cat Sense Feline Hospital, Harford County Dept. of Community Services, Circa Ltd, Harford Bank, The Arena Club, Pilates On Main, and Infinity Salon & Spa
PLANNING COMMITTEE: Terry Troy, Mary Hastler, Sarah Bleach, Tom Leach, Paul Wockenfuss, Jim Heyl, Kristy Sudbrink, Elise Smith, Mary Stokes, and Melissa McSorley
SCAVENGER HUNT AND DESIGN CONTEST DONATIONS: HeartBeat, B. Fabulous, Tiny Toes, NVS Salon & Spa, Charm City Run, Simply Charmed Boutique, Wockenfuss Candies, Hair Design, Two Sisters Gallery, Tiger Lily, Tiddlywinks, Bella Amici Salon, The Pink Silhouette, R4 Salon & Wellness Spa, Looney’s, MaGerk’s, Dark Horse Saloon, TCBY-Bel Air, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Bel Air Athletic Club, Anytime Fitness, The Colorlab, The Color Lounge & Spa, and Peace Yoga
TRICK-OR-TREAT PARTICIPANTS: A Country Setting, NVS Salon & Spa, Simply Charmed Boutique, Ewenique Yarns, StaleFish Board Co., MaGerk’s, Bella Amici Salon, Looney’s, R4 Salon & Wellness Spa, Dark Horse Saloon, Little NY Deli, Lavalier, Buontempo Bros., HeartBeat, Tiddlywinks, Tiger Lily, The Pink Silhouette, Hair Design, Mary Kay Cosmetics, B. Fabulous, Moore’s Candies, Shamrock Coffee, Boutique 7, The Bead Box, Charm City Run, and Main Street Tower
Special thanks to all of hard-working and dedicated volunteers, especially everyone at AmeriCorps.