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Valentine’s Day is over, but Bel Air is still planning for something sweet just around the corner.

The town is once again hosting its popular Chocolate Candy Festival as well as, for adults only, the third-annual Chocolate/Wine Affaire this weekend.

Bel Air Downtown Alliance, the main sponsor, will hold the Chocolate/Wine Affaire from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday and the Chocolate Candy Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

Both will be held at the Bel Air Reckord Armory.

Unlike last year, the Chocolate Candy Festival will include children’s activities this year and the alliance has been specifically promoting the children’s activities.

Tickets are $5 per person at the gate and children 5 and younger are admitted free.

The event will feature Joe the Monkey and a “Children’s Activity Center,” where youngsters can create their own chocolate and candy-themed crafts.

There is also a “Downtown Scavenger Hunt” to attract families.

The new events are “really to encourage our families a little more,” Scott Walker, the new director of the Alliance, said. “We have over 30 merchants participating as they hide their candy out there.”

Every entrance ticket gets the attendee two free samples from the chocolate and candy exhibitors.

An afternoon can be spent sampling chocolate and candy from Moore’s Candies, Wockenfuss Candies, Stephanie’s Sweets, Dove Chocolate Discoveries, Bel Air Kettle Corn Co. and Tastefully Simple.

The event is also sponsored by Verizon and Point Breeze Credit Union, and typically attracts more than 1,500 people through the course of the day.

“Our best year to date has been close to 3,000 people at the festival,” Walker said. “Since the weather is cooperating and we are expecting sunny skies, that’s really going to play in our favor.”

The festival “is an event that not only draws people to Bel Air but also draws them to mix and mingle,” he said.

As for the Chocolate/Wine Affaire, tickets are $50 per person or $90 per couple and include food from local restaurants like Looney’s, MaGerk’s, Main Street Tower, Buontempo Bros., C.R. Wings, Pairings Bistro and Coffee Coffee.

There will, of course, also be chocolate — provided by Moore’s Candies, Wockenfuss Candies and Bel Air Bakery.

Walker said 125 to 175 people show up for that night.

“This year we added the wine,” he said about the event’s new title. “We are going to be doing some pairings.”

Wine and beer will be provided by Bel Air Liquors and there will be dancing afterward, with music by RNP Productions.

For information, visit www.downtownbelair.com or call 410-638-1023.

There will also be a silent auction with items from local merchants and gifts from across Maryland.


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