YYC Hot Chocolate Fest is back

Calgarians! It’s that time of the year again when we vote for the best hot chocolate in the city!

The YYC Hot Chocolate Fest is back on its sixth year and will run for the whole month of February. Cafes, restaurants, and other local businesses will compete for the titles Calgary’s Best Hot Chocolate and Calgary’s Best Spirited Hot Chocolate. Winners will be announced on March 3.

“Participating local businesses create a delicious custom spirited or regular hot chocolate or both and sell this signature hot chocolate for the entire month of February,” said Richelle Kenn, event coordinator. “Calgarians hit the streets to try as many of the delicious hot chocolates as possible, and give an online rating of their favourites. These ratings are used to determine the winners of Calgary’s Best Hot Chocolate, and Calgary’s Best Spirited Hot Chocolate. In 2016, 45 locations sold over 12,500 hot chocolates, and 2,400 ratings determined our winners.”

Hot chocolate from River Cafe Restaurant.

This event is not only a delicious activity for Calgarians but a great way to help out Calgary Meals on Wheels. Funds raised from this event will go towards the non-profit organization’s Home Meal Delivery Program.

“Calgarians can sip with satisfaction all month long, knowing that $1 from every hot chocolate, and $2 from every spirited hot chocolate sold throughout the month will be donated to Calgary Meals on Wheels,” said Kenn.

According to Kenn, YYC Hot Chocolate Fest started five years ago as suggested by a volunteer.

“This event began in 2012 as a suggestion from a dedicated volunteer with a passion for Calgary Meals on Wheels and a thirst for hot chocolate,” she said. “What began as a humble community fundraiser has grown into a well-known city-wide festival, raising over $15,000 for Calgary Meals on Wheels in 2016. As we enter our sixth year, we anticipate welcoming 50 local businesses with up to 65 locations across Calgary. We hope to raise $20,000 to support our programs and clients.”

Hot chocolate from Kawa Espresso Bar

Supporting YYC Hot Chocolate Fest is encouraged by Kenn as there is an increase in demand for Calgary Meals on Wheels services.

“Calgary Meals on Wheels is the only service in Calgary who offers financial assistance to our community members in need. In our current economic climate, we have experienced a 30 per cent increase in services and expect the need will continue to rise,” said Kenn. “Many people don’t know that Calgary Meals on Wheels is a service available for anyone in Calgary, regardless of age or income. Our aim is to serve anyone who is experiencing barriers that prevent them from eating nutritious and balanced meals. Whether these barriers are physical, for example, injuries that hinder food preparation, geographical, for example winter weather prevents getting groceries easily, or financial, our services offer a solution in providing a nutritious and affordable meal delivered right to your home. Anyone can find themselves experiencing these barriers not only seniors.”

Businesses interested in participating can register for the event until Jan. 25. The launch event for the festival is scheduled to take place on Jan. 28 at the Calgary Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with MC Rob Cote of the Stampeders.

(All photos taken by Jusz Travel at the 2016 YYC Hot Chocolate Fest)

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