For the Love of Chocolate

For the Love of Chocolate: Long Grove’s Bite-Size Celebration

Friday, May 14, 5–7pm

Saturday, May 15, 10am–6pm

Sunday, May 16, 10am–6pm


A Bite-Size Event That’s All About Chocolate

We are excited to announce the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association’s (HDLGBA) new bite-size event that’s focused on ALL THINGS CHOCOLATE!  We’re planning demos, classes, presentations, experiences, vendors, chocolatiers, entertainment and so much more. Hear about the history of chocolate, how it’s grown, sourced, and made. Learn how to taste craft chocolate correctly. Watch a demo to see how to make chocolate and chocolate treats at home! Our industry experts will be here to entertain, educate, energize, and engage attendees into the wonderful world of chocolate!


Why We’re Calling this a “Bite-Size” Event

The HDLGBA created a smaller, new outdoor rain or shine event (replacing Chocolate Fest) that allows us to experience ALL THINGS CHOCOLATE in a safe way for our attendees, staff and volunteers. Outdoor events are currently required to meet the State of Illinois Phase 4 Reopening Guidelines due to the Covid-10 Pandemic. Attendance must be limited to meet space requirements and ticketing is needed to manage attendance and seating in our gated and/or tent areas.

To ensure we are following these guidelines, you can expect:

  • less people than a typical “fest in Long Grove”
  • required mask wearing
  • social distancing
  • seated experiences and time limits for ticketed access
  • advanced, online registration is required to attend.


Where to Find the Chocolate and More!

Brothers’ Field, 344 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove

Chocolate Experience Tent, Chocolate Expo Tent, Hay Wagon Stage, Kids Area
Tickets required for access. Each Chocolate Expo Session requires an additional fee and ticket per session.

400 Block of Robert Parker Coffin Road

From Old McHenry to the historic Covered Bridge
Chocolate Vendor Row, Main Stage
Tickets required for access.

Locations Throughout Downtown

Free Live Music Performances by Chicago area singers, songwriters and musicians.

Sip, Shop and Dine in Town

Other than necessary ticketed areas, the entire downtown is open for all visitors! We encourage all of our attendees to visit our retail merchants, restaurants, wine bars and brewery during their visit where they will find various chocolate-related products and treats.


Free parking is available at the Archer and Stempel Municipal Parking Lots. Additional parking is also available at the Long Grove Community Church (donations appreciated, but not required.)


Thanks to Our Sponsors

We would like to recognize and thank our sponsors for helping us create this sweet event!

“Chocolate Ganache” Level Sponsor

Elite Remodeling Group

Chocolate VIP Preview Night Sponsor

The Gents Place – Deer Park

Friend of the Fest Sponsor


What’s Happening at the Event

Chocolate Experience Tent

Indulge your senses when you stop here for a visit or two throughout your day.

Watch our chocolate artist in action.
Bret Huisman, a chocolate sculptor from Wisconsin will be carving new chocolate creations on each day of the event. In addition to the sculpting station where Bret will be creating chocolate art, there will also be a chocolate fountain on display and a chocolate river. Chocolate for carving is being supplied by Long Grove Confectionery.

Take in the scent of chocolate cotton candy while it’s spun on site.
Jeff and Terri Taylor, Owners of Ma and Pa’s Candy in downtown Long Grove will be showcasing their new cotton candy cart. Pre-packaged samples available for attendees.


Chocolate Expo Tent

These immersive sessions provide attendees the opportunity to watch demonstrations, learn all about chocolate and taste delectable treats. Registration and fee required for each session. Seating is limited to 50 per session. More presentations are in the works! Check back or follow our Facebook page for updates. Our current schedule is listed below. Additional presentations announced soon!

Saturday, May 15, 2021
9:30am-10:00am: “Chocolate for Your Soul” Yoga

A half hour, all standing yoga class to start your Chocolate Journey weekend off. Good for the mind, body and soul.

Presenter: Roxanne DeFord is a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor. She uses a mind, body, spirit approach to coach clients and groups to overcome the blocks to enjoying a healthy lifestyle. She also loves teaching healthy cooking classes, leading yoga and meditation and has given hundreds of talks on a variety of health topics.

10:00am-10:30am: Indulge Yourself in Beauty with Makeup by Jo

Chocolate is not only a delicious treat to eat! The cocoa tones seen in Chocolate, have the ability to create beautiful makeup looks! You are invited to learn how to apply a variety of chestnut, coffee and hazelnut colors to eyes, cheeks and lips. Josann Rahning will show you how the colors of chocolate are perfect for all occasions and will leave you feeling flawless!

Presenter: Chicago based Makeup artist, Josann Rahning brings her skin and makeup expertise to Long Grove! She has provided makeup for celebrities on television shows and commercials, done countless fashion shows, has been published in print and on internet blogs. She is accomplished in all facets of color, lips, eyes, lashes, face and has instructed teams of makeup artists and worked with numerous cosmetic companies.

11:00am-11:30am: Wellness with Roxie and the Health Benefits of Chocolate

Learn how to make a healthy Chocolate smoothie and all the health benefits that go along with that. You will walk away with the recipe and a delicious Chocolate treat that’s healthy for you.

Presenter: Roxanne DeFord is a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach and Yoga Instructor. She uses a mind, body, spirit approach to coach clients and groups to overcome the blocks to enjoying a healthy lifestyle. She also loves teaching healthy cooking classes, leading yoga and meditation and has given hundreds of talks on a variety of health topics.

12:00pm-12:30pm: The Love Story of Chocolate and Wine with Corked

There are few combinations as ionic as wine, chocolate and love, and this love connection has deep roots. You won’t want to miss this session that will intrigue your pallet, tastebuds, and heart at the same time. While you learn about the love affair between wine and chocolate, Corked will also be serving a glass of red wine to enjoy along with a special chocolate drizzled treat with olive oil and sea salt for the perfect pairing

Presenters: Ben and JJ Niernberg, Owners of Corked Wine Bar (132 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove), wine connoisseurs and educators on wine pairings, tastings, and styles of whites, reds, blends and all wines.

1:00pm-1:30pm: (Booze & Cakes)

Learn how your favorite alcoholic beverages and cupcakes come together to make alcohol-infused cupcakes, Yeah, it’s a thing! The Pink Cupcake got their start baking out of a box, but have since crafted the greatest cupcakes around. You can have your beer and eat it too they like to say. In addition to that, you will learn a little bit of where cocoa bombs came from and how to make them. Then delight your tastebuds after with the sweetness of these treats.

Presenter: Ashley Snyder, Owner of The Pink Cupcake Creations, Lake Villa, IL. Her one of a kind cupcakes, cake pops, cocoa bombs, and incredibly intricate custom cakes, will truly amaze you. If you can dream it, she can create it! Stop by the pink tent to see what dreams she can create for you.

2:00pm-2:30pm: The Benefits of Incorporating Chocolate into Massages and Facials

Relax, Reset and Restore.  Chocolate is not just for eating!  At Salt of the Earth Cave and Spa which is Lake County’s first Himalayan salt cave, we incorporate chocolate into our facials and massages.  Salt and Sweet — both ways to enjoy a chocolate treat! During this presentation you will learn how Chocolate can stimulate your skin and circulation to bring a radiant, fresh, glow to your skin. Did you know that Chocolate is rich in flavonoids, which filters UV rays, and it’s a good source of vitamins A,B1,C,D and E. In addition, Chocolate nourishes your skin from the inside out and has anti-aging properties, all the more reason to indulge in this delicious confection that has benefits beyond skin deep.

Presenter: Salt of the Earth

3:00pm-3:30pm: Tempering Chocolate and Creating Barks

Watch how candy is made and bring home a variety of recipes to re-create these sweet delights at home, using what you may already have in your kitchen cabinets.

Presenter: Pat Murphy, Owner of Ultimate Confections, Wauwatosa, WI. His passion and creativity is evident in his sweet productions.

Sunday, May 16, 2021
11:00am-11:30am: For the Love of Vegan Cheesecake

How To Make A Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake in under 30 minutes even if you can’t cook. Did you know chocolate is vegan? 

Vegan Chef & Food Blogger AJ Rivera will be sharing how to make an EASY no bake vegan chocolate cheesecake. Attendees will learn about vegan baking and cooking and how to create a delicious plant based dessert. 

What you will get… 

  • 30 Minute Cooking Demo (learn how to make your own vegan cheesecake)
  • Slice Of Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake with an Oreo Crust
  • Surprise Bag of Vegan Treats To Take With You (think cookies)
  • Q&A Session With Chef AJ, so that you can make all your favorite foods (even if you or a loved one has allergies or intolerances)

Whether you are lactose intolerant, vegan, or have a loved one with food intolerances… 

Presenter:  AJ Rivera, Culinarian 

1:00pm-1:30pm: Cocktails and Chocolate 

Learn all about the craft of combining chocolate and alcohol with fresh ingredients from scratch. The Mixologist will educate on three different deliciously chocolatey cocktail blends that you can combine with your favorite alcohol at home and will leave you wanting more. You will walk away with the knowledge, recipes, and a sample of the chocolate to delight your palate.

Presenter: Kristian Rucker, Twisted Crown. Artisan Craft Cocktails made from scratch with fresh ingredients. People are generally more health conscious and looking for lower cholesterol and caloric options when consuming alcoholic beverages. Our handcrafted cocktails are made with fresh and dietary safe ingredients which provides you with healthier alcoholic beverages without diminishing the quality of the taste.


Chocolate Vendors

Visit our chocolate vendor booths to purchase delicious chocolate confections made by local chocolate stores, confectioners and makers who use chocolate to fuel their creations.

Current Vendor List

  • Grin And Wear It: Airbrush face painting & airbrush tattoos, balloon twisting
  • Long Grove Lions Club: Beer and Sangria, featuring their signature chocolate strawberry sangria
  • Morkes Chocolates of Long Grove/Broken Bridge Treats: Chocolate and apple spice donuts, chocolates, chocolate covered strawberries
  • The Pink Cupcake Creations: Cupcakes, Cake Pops, Cocoa Bombs, Oreo Truffles, Brownies
  • Salt of the Earth: Chocolate scented candles, chocolate facial scrubs
  • St. Roger Abbey: Organic chocolate croissants, chocolate almond croissants, chocolate tartlets, chocolate eclairs, macarons, brownies, chocolate prince hearts and more. All organic certified.
  • Ultimate Confections: Hand-dipped chocolates: Oreos, sea salt caramels, bear claws, turtles, peanut butter cups, s’mores bark, pretzels, licorice, marshmallows, cashews, pecans.
  • Wishing Well Mini Donuts: Mini donuts with chocolate icings and toppings
  • Zacarelli’s: Chocolate covered funnel cakes



A variety of bands, solo artists and other entertainers will be performing around town. Additional performers and locations will be added to the schedule as they are confirmed.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Brothers’ Field Stage
5:00pm-7:00pm: VIP Preview Party featuring The Tony Ocean Show

An upbeat style that embodies a time from the past that will be popular as long as we still enjoy the music of Sinatra, Martin, Davis, Darin, Tony Bennett, Tom Jones and others whose romantic songs and lyrics have affected so many of our lives through the years.


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Brothers’ Field Stage
11:30am-12:00pm: MooNie

Clown. Juggler. Foolish Mortal! (Philip Earl Johnson) Is a one man European Style comedy act using classic clown routines, physical stunts and audience participation. With over 8000 performances of The MooNiE Show, seen by millions, he has had long career preforming at Renaissance Festivals around the country including the Bristol Renaissance Festival, among many others, for the last 30 years. He was voted the number one act in the country six years in a row in the Renaissance Festival Podcast Awards. His performances have been seen in many theaters, fringe festivals in Los Angeles, Melbourne, Australia and Minneapolis, as well as private events of all kinds.

PhilIp is also an award winning actor with credits at theaters such as The Eisenhower Theatre at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., The Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood, The Goodman Theatre, The Steppenwolf Theatre, The Paramount Theatre in Aurora, Writers Theatre in Glencoe and The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Television credits include Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, Empire, Presumed Innocent, Mind Games and Dharma and Greg.

1:00pm-2:00pm: Brian Holt Magician

Welcome to the Magical Show of Brian Holt. He provides fun and interactive magic routines that create memories and are fun for the whole family! You will see a live bunny appear and so much more. 

2:00pm-2:45pm: Brian Holt Balloon Artistry

Following the magic show, Brian will be twisting and creating fun balloon designs for all to enjoy.

3:00pm-3:30pm: MooNie

See description above.

4:00pm: Grant Milliren Duo

The Grant Milliren Duo performs indie/alternative rock fronted by Chicagoland singer-songwriter, Grant Milliren. They play a mix of Grant’s original music and covers by many artists including Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews Band, Tom Petty and more!


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Main Stage, By Covered Bridge
10:00am-12:00pm: Burnt Biscuits

Burnt Biscuits, band from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, performs vintage bluegrass, country and gypsy jazz as well as covers everyone will recognize! Steeped in the traditions of pre-war jazz and bluegrass music, founders Zach Draper and Elliott Esparza engage audiences with their unique approach to pop songs and traditional American classics. While music lovers will appreciate the influence that artists like Tony Rice, Nickel Creek, and Django Reinhardt have on the Burnt Biscuits sound; it’s their unique energy and musical intuition that wins the band a broader appeal among fans. Whether it be an Irish pub, supper club or a live outdoor event,  Burnt Biscuits brings you back to a time when banjos and steel strings were king.

1:00pm-3:00pm: Split Hook

Local classic rock band blending soft rock original music with timeless classics from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Members include singer/songwriter Ken Kuhn rhythm acoustic 12 & 6 string guitars – Mike Ferguson lead guitar electric & acoustic  – Scott Hume electric bass & acoustic bass.

4:00pm-6:00pm: Ludy

His passion for the standards exudes from chilling renditions of songs once covered by legends like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin & Nat King Cole, while infusing his own prowess and style.  He also covers Michael Buble’ and does an impeccable Tom Jones!

Born John Ludy Puleo in Chicago, his love for song & lyric took deep root from within a vocally gifted family and a childhood surrounded by music. He performed throughout his formative years and became lead vocalist with popular Northern Illinois based groups including DoubleTake, The Believers and Transformation Band

Simply known as ‘LUDY”, he performs regionally at a variety of popular venues.  Also performing at a variety of festivals, charity events, private and corporate functions throughout the United States; as a one man show, or with his Jazz Trio, Quartet or Big Band. He also has performed at several Gala’s with the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra as featured vocalist for their 17- piece LGSO Swing Band


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Brothers’ Field Stage
11:30am-12:00pm: MooNie

See description listed on Saturday schedule.

1:00pm-2:00pm: Jim Jensen Magician

Jim’s interactive and fun approach is perfect for kids and adults. Whether it’s working the room doing close up magic or performing a stage magic show,  Jim will keep EVERYONE entertained. Jim’s Magic Show is fast paced, full of laughs and will entertain and engag kids and adults. Jim has been a full time working performer for more than 30 years!

2:30pm-3:30pm: Music Mania, with Harris Kal

Name That Tune has never been so much fun! Harris Kal began his career as an actor, starring in shows like Happy Days and Simon & Simon. He left Hollywood in 1992 and began working as a party entertainer, which he continues to do today. Harris loves doing events, because, “It’s a great way to motivate people, get them involved and – most importantly – get them happy.”

4:00pm: Matt Ray, acoustic performance

Matt Ray plays a variety of rock music including: alternative, classic, originals, and some surprises! To this musician there is no such thing as just playing a cover song because each song becomes his own version.  A live performance is about having a fun time playing music and connecting with the audience. No matter what song is being played or the size of the crowd Matt is musically committed to making it feel like an intimate experience.


Sunday, May 16, 2021

Main Stage, By Covered Bridge
10:00am-12:00pm: Aimee Gwen Music

Led by guitarist Aimee Gwen, the duo performs regularly throughout the ChicagoLand Area. For this performance she will be accompanied by bassist Vinny Kabat. The pair plays a mix of jazz including swing and bossa.

1:00pm-3:00pm: Big Al Wetzel Band

Allen Wetzel is a published singer/song-writer, accomplished multi-instrumentalist, and live performance veteran who is perfectly at home on any stage. Drawing from fan favorites of every genre (including Rock/Country/Pop/Blues/Funk/Reggae to name a few), the Big Al Wetzel Band delivers a jaw dropping spectrum of first class live music for high end events large and small throughout the Chicago Tri State area and beyond.

4:00pm-6:00pm: Hello Dave

Hello Dave has been touring the country and the world for nearly 30 years. Their brand of music, dubbed Chicago Twang, has tickled the ears of millions. Himebaugh, Magoo, Big Al, Marty and Pete bring their passion to the stage for every show whether it’s opening for country musics biggest acts or playing for American troops on a plywood stage in the dessert of Iraq. Find their music on all the digital platforms.



Kids Activities 

  • Live DJ
  • Pony rides
  • Mini golf, sponsored by the Long Grove Lions Club
  • Fun photo ops with chocolate-themed displays


Ticket Options

We have decided to suspend ticket sales for “For the Love of Chocolate,” on Sunday, May 16. Please come out and enjoy our activities. Previous ticket sales will be addressed next week. Please email us with any questions or concerns.
Thank you,
Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association



There’s always something happening in historic downtown Long Grove. Visit our main Events and Festivals page for 2021 dates and links to each event.



Festivals, In-Store Events, Year-Round Live Music & More....
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