Chocolate takes over Oxford in January

Annual fundraiser to benefit two local arts organizations.

Oxford wants people to melt down in order to support the arts.

The annual Chocolate Meltdown invites the public into the Oxford Community Arts Center to taste chocolates from local vendors. The event also supports the Richard and Carole Cocks Art Museum at Miami University.

The festival is “a testament to the enduring spirit of community engagement. We have five local organizations that work together to put on this event in January. It really gets people out to experience Oxford in a different way,” said Trisha Porter, community relations coordinator for the OCAC.

More than 1,000 people attended the Meltdown in 2022. This year’s event will feature chocolate tastings from chocolatiers and local businesses, an “Anything Chocolate” bake-off (with amateur, professional and youth divisions), a themed art exhibition, children’s activities and more.

“We are excited about the art exhibition. This year ... there are two categories with a youth category for participants under 18 and we have an adult category,” Porter said.

Participants will indulge in all things chocolate with events and games on College Avenue, at various uptown businesses and at the main chocolate-tasting extravaganza at the OCAC.

There will be items such as cupcakes, cake pops, dark chocolates and more. It will have a “chocolate” bar featuring chocolate liqueur and wine parings for chocolate, and there will be S’mores available for the kids.

Outside will be “Candy Lane” themed activities with inflatables, face painting and more. There will also be a coffee truck and several other food trucks parked on the street.

Uptown businesses will feature a variety of sweet treats, hot cocoa bars and other specials for “Let’s Paint the Town Chocolate” during the event.

“This year, we are collaborating with Miami University and Talawanda school groups and they will work with some of the Uptown businesses and craft either a chocolate item, or paint their window, or something like that, and participating businesses will have a voting box and people can vote on the best chocolate event Uptown. Then, the winning organization/student group will receive a $100 gift card,” Porter said.

Plus, there will be complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides that will make various Chocolate Meltdown stops throughout the duration of the event.

There is still time to participate as a vendor (the sign up deadline is Jan. 1) and to submit artwork for the art exhibition (by Jan. 2). Also, sponsorships are still available.

How to go

What: Chocolate Meltdown

When: 1-5 p.m. Jan. 13, 2024

Where: Oxford Community Arts Center, 10 S. College Ave., Oxford and at Uptown Oxford businesses

Cost: Free admission. Tasting tickets at the Meltdown are $1 each, 6 for $5, 12 for $10 and 24 for $20.

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