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Hilo Cacao & Chocolate Festival Appeals to Chocoholics

March 3, 2019, 12:30 PM HST (Updated February 27, 2019, 4:28 PM)
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The East Hawai‘i Cacao Association will be hosting the 2nd Hilo Cacao and Chocolate Festival on Saturday, April 13, 2019, to support and expand the growing and processing of cacao on Hawai‘i Island as well as the tourism focus for cacao farm tours and world class chocolate that is created here.

Displays will show the complete chocolate making process “from tree to bar.” 750 free cacao seedlings will be available to take home with printed literature for growing and processing cacao.
Representatives from many educational organizations such as Master Gardeners, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTHAR), GoFarm Hawai’i, Office of Hawai‘i Affairs, Hawai‘i Tropical Fruit Growers, Big Island Invasive Species Committee, Hawai‘i Ant Lab, Hawai‘i Farmers Union United, Kona Cacao Association, and Hawai‘i Chocolate & Cacao Association to mention a few.
Many of our local chocolatiers will sell their products at the event. They will also be offering a Chocolate Passport ($25 in advance or $30 at the door) for a chocolate tasting and people’s choice evaluation of 100% Grown and Made in Hawai’i Chocolate products.

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A silent auction will be held and 2019 festival T-Shirts for $20 will be available at the festival or online at hilochocofest.com/buy-a-passport. All proceeds will go towards furthering the education and promotion of growing cacao on Hawai‘i Island.

East Hawai‘i Cacao Association and Hawai‘i Forest and Trail will offer four free tours to Tom Menezes’ Hawaiian Crown Chocolate Plantation in Wainaku just minutes from Hilo between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Seating is limited to 12 persons per tour. (No advance reservations for the free tours, sign up at event). Maddy Smith of Barefoot Chocolatini will provide additional tours at $20 per person to Tom Sharkey’s Hilo Sharks Cacao Farm also minutes away in Papa‘ikou. This expanded tour will include a tour through the orchard, drying house and kitchen where participants can partake in chocolate tasting. Contact Maddy at Barefoot Chocolatini (808) 640-1283 for reservations or sign up at the event.

The festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel loccated at 71 Banyan Drive in Hilo. There is no charge to attend the festival.

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