Middletown’s signature Women’s Wine & Chocolate Walk readies for 9th year

Wine and chocolate lovers from across the region know that downtown Middletown is the place to be for the 9th annual Women’s Wine & Chocolate Walk this weekend. Pictured here are Esther Price chocolates. FILE PHOTO

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Wine and chocolate lovers from across the region know that downtown Middletown is the place to be for the 9th annual Women’s Wine & Chocolate Walk this weekend. Pictured here are Esther Price chocolates. FILE PHOTO

Visitors from out-of-town expected for popular event.

Wine and chocolate lovers from across the region know that downtown Middletown is the place to be for the 9th annual Women’s Wine & Chocolate Walk.

“This gives us an opportunity to showcase downtown Middletown, not only for residents, but for those who travel from outside of the area for the event,” said Executive Director Jeff Payne of Downtown Middletown Inc.

This is a beautiful downtown with many historic buildings. In fact, there are three historic districts in our downtown, he said.

Presented by Downtown Middletown, Inc., this signature event is expected to attract around 1,000 guests on Saturday, May 14 to historic downtown Middletown. Since its inception, the event has continued to sell out.

Registration and check-in for the Women’s Wine & Chocolate Walk will begin at the Windamere located at 2 South Main St. At the Windamere, participants will exchange their ticket for a wine-tasting glass, a goodie bag and a tasting map. From noon to 6 p.m., guests will enjoy wine and chocolate tastings throughout downtown Middletown. Check in times vary as noted with each ticket type.

Proceeds from the women-only, fundraising event will benefit the ongoing revitalization and historic preservation efforts in downtown Middletown. The event also brings awareness to downtown Middletown, and its growing business district with shopping, dining and entertainment. Guests have come from Middletown, Liberty Twp., Mason, Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, and beyond for the previous events.

“Seventy percent of our attendees are from outside of Middletown proper. Some are coming from well over 100 miles away. As an experience for the women, it’s a very nice, classy, enjoyable, and fun day,” Payne said.

The event promotes a mix of wine, chocolate, shopping and more. With excellent attendance the first few years, the non-profit focused on growing the event and getting the word out. In 2015, the event sold out with 200 tickets available. In 2016, the number of tickets to the event doubled to 400 tickets, and it sold out in a matter of days. Ticket sales have continued to double, and the event has grown primarily by word of mouth. The walk began with about seven stops and expanded to 16 stops in 2015.

“This is an event we try to improve upon each year, and it’s a special experience,” Payne said.

The stops and pop-up locations, along with the wine and chocolate selections are designed to be a surprise, so they won’t be revealed until the day of the event. Maps with a list of stops will be provided at check-in and the stops will also be listed on the Downtown Middletown Inc. app.

This year’s theme is the ’90s, so attendees are encouraged to dress up — Whether that’s team grunge, neon or the 1890s. There is a bit of walking involved, so guests are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes. Shuttles will be available for those who would like to be dropped off near the two farthest stops.

There will also be activity stops and water stops throughout the walk. A few of the locations will offer karaoke.

HOW TO GO

What: Women’s Wine & Chocolate Walk

When: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday

Cost: $45 and include at least 10 wine and 10 chocolate stops, a swag bag and a souvenir tasting glass.

Info: facebook.com/downtownmiddletown

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