By Rachel Estes, DCN regional staff
Renowned for its wine country and nuggets of gold, Dahlonega is flaunting its decadent side this week with the return of the Dahlonega Chocolate Crawl.
Slated for March 1-7, the second annual event will place free samples in the hands of sweet-toothed visitors courtesy a dozen downtown restaurants and shopkeepers: Paul Thomas Chocolates, Dahlonega Fudge Factory, Kilwin’s Chocolates, Shenanigans Irish Pub, Bourbon Street Grille, Picnic Cafe and Dessertery, Capers on the Square, Connie’s Ice Cream Parlor, Corner Kitchen Deli, Crown and Bear, My Vintage Gypsy Teas and The Spice and Tea Exchange.
According to Sam McDuffie, director of tourism for Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber and Visitors Bureau, each of the businesses are within walking distance of one another to ensure convenience and acquaintance with the “footprint of downtown Dahlonega.”
“We have so much to offer here in Dahlonega and Lumpkin County — we’ve got the wineries, we’ve also got a lot of hiking trails, waterfalls, small town charm,” he said. “We’re a small town with a big heart. We just want people to know that Dahlonega is a magical place.”
Crawlers can expect to encounter chocolate chai, chocolate-covered caramels, handcrafted fudge, Irish cream pie, beignets, cookies, flourless tortes and ice cream sandwiches among other sweet treats.
Free and family-friendly, the weeklong event will span 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
McDuffie encourages chocolate lovers to check the participating businesses’ hours of operation as they plan their trip, as many of them differ.
While Paul Thomas Chocolates, Dahlonega Fudge Factory, Kilwins, Picnic Cafe, Connie’s Ice Cream Parlor, My Vintage Gypsy Teas and The Spice and Tea Exchange are open daily, the other five destinations close down for a couple of days during the week.
Initially organized as a romantic getaway campaign spearheaded by the chamber, McDuffie said the Dahlonega Chocolate Crawl is planned to recur every March to help keep traffic flowing during tourism’s slower season.
“During the winter months, we want to keep (Dahlonega) on their radar, per se, so we’re trying to think of cool events that will help drive traffic here during our slower months — and the Chocolate Crawl was the perfect answer for that,” he said. “We’re just wanting to drive traffic up here and let people sample all the goodness that is Dahlonega.”For more on the Dahlonega Chocolate Crawl, visit dahlonega.org/events/festivals-and-annual-events/dahlonega-chocolate-crawl.
This article was originally published in The Gainesville Times, a sister publication of the Dawson County News.