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Burlington News

BURLINGTON — The Burlington Chamber of Commerce believes chocolate is year-round, so a followup to Chocolate Fest is coming in hot this winter.

The city is planning for the first annual Hot ChocolateFest, which is planned to take place starting the night of Feb. 10 and running until the morning of Feb. 12, with plenty of outdoor activities in store.

“We’re trying to create an overall weekend outdoors with lots to do,” said chamber Executive Director Jan Ludtke. “In Wisconsin, we love the outdoors and we love our winters.”

Ludtke said that the idea initially came when the city wanted to host a hot chocolate run, which will be part of Hot ChocolateFest. The event took off from there and includes a pond hockey tournament, sledding and toboganing at the YMCA’s Camp MacLean, 31401 Durand Ave., and possibly a pancake breakfast.

“We talked to the people of Chocolate Fest and we wanted to do a hot chocolate run and that’s what spurred the whole thing,” Ludtke said. “We also wanted to do a pond hockey tournament for years and all came together.”

Other highlights of the event include local businesses facing off in hot chocolate and chili contests. Ludtke said festival attendees can get a punch card and vote for their favorite while tasting all the entries.

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There will also be a snowman contest, with a twist. Participants will not build snowmen; rather, they will decorate pre-made snowmen with clothing that will be donated to Love Inc., the local social services agency headquartered at 466 S. Pine St.

“Teams and families can decorate with gloves, mittens, jackets they will all be donated,” Ludke said.

Echo Lake on Milwaukee Avenue is scheduled to be the location for the pond hockey tournament that opens the weekend. Other rinks are planned to be set up on the lake for free skating and for broom ball.

The final event of the weekend will be a Hot Chocolate 5K run scheduled for Sunday morning, Feb. 12.

“Wisconsin winters are always fun but especially when you have something outdoors to participate in,” Ludtke said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun. Chocolate is good all year round.”

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