Chocolate to bring in crowds to Sycamore

By Porsha Stennis

Visitors can stroll through a winter-chocolate-land today in downtown Sycamore.

The Sycamore Chamber of Commerce is having its third annual Winter Chocolate Walk from 5 to 7 p.m. and is looking forward to attracting a larger crowd this year than in the past.

Discover Sycamore, a branch of the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce that connects local businesses to the community by hosting events, started Chocolate Weekend in 2009. It was eventually turned into a two-hour walk to give residents a chance to enjoy the atmosphere of their city during the holiday season.

“It’s a family event…. It allows them to have a unique experience in Sycamore and bring more people here as well as promote our retail market,” said Katelyn Fogle, events and marketing assistant for the Chamber of Commerce.

Attendees have the opportunity to tour downtown Sycamore while tasting chocolate treats. There are 13 stores featured, and they will sell clothing, food, art or jewelry.

At the start of the walk, participants are given a Chocolate Walk guide of participating locations. At each store, participants get their cards signed after receiving their chocolate treats.

At the end of the walk, each person drops his or her card into a raffle where those who have the most Chocolate Walk locations signed are chosen randomly as winners for the raffle basket.

“The [raffle] basket has different products from participating businesses that donated. It includes a gift card, ice lantern kit, greenery and a poncho,” Fogle said.

Mudslingers Cafe, 202 E. State St., a family-owned coffee shop, is looking forward to sharing some of its sweets.

“We are offering our warm chocolate donuts,” said Mudslingers Cafe owner Siru Knox. “They are really yummy. We also have some chocolates imported from Finland available for purchase.”

Christian Connection, 337 W. State St., is not only giving guests Hershey Kisses and miniature chocolate bars, but also has another surprise.

“We have a local band called FUE coming into the store to play,” said Christian Connection owner Shari Malm.