Youngsters and the young at heart who love being daubed with chocolate, sinking their face into a custard pie or nosing for candy in a plate of whipped cream may want to visit the Chocolate Challenge Stage this weekend.
A perennially popular feature of the annual Oakdale Chocolate Festival, the stage is slated to be set up next to the Chase Bank at West F Street and Yosemite Avenue in an area fenced off for the 20th annual extravaganza presented by the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau.
The Chocolate Challenge stage sponsored by Hawk Radio 104.1 will be full of drizzling, dripping, spurting streams of chocolate and perhaps a little cream as well on Saturday and Sunday, said event coordinator and Chamber representative Kellie Yohanan.
Contestants tend to wear raincoats or sheets of plastic and stand well back until it’s their turn. To stop the rush, they are chosen about an hour ahead as special onstage entertainment acts are mixed in with the chocolate challenge games.
Entertainment on the stage will run non-stop from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday interspersed by Chocolate Challenge events.
Running the gamut from zumba to gymnastics and dances to martial arts demonstrations, Saturday’s entertainment events will start at 9:30 a.m. with a zumba demonstration led by Lisa Bella. That will be followed by USA Elite Gymnastics at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., folklorico dancing by Maria Juarez and her group at 2:30 p.m. and a Back Stage Academy of Dance show at 4:30 p.m.
Chocolate Challenge events will be interspersed at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Sunday will follow a similar pattern with GymStars Gymnastics by Lindsey Johnson taking the stage at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., West Coast Martial Arts following at 1:30 p.m. and The Ballet Folklorico Group Los Luceros de Osborn performing at 3:30 p.m.
One again there will be chocolate challenge games taking place at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Hawk Radio station 104.1 is the stage sponsor and radio personalities will emcee the different games open to the audience.
It’s all strictly for fun and the joy of getting messy. The big prizes are limited to “jawbreakers” donated by Sconza Candy, said Yohanan.
Beyond that, there’s the whole festival to enjoy from 9 a. m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Besides the Chocolate Challenge, it will include arts and crafts booths, Chocolate Avenue, a classic car show, food booths, a 5K and 1 mile fun run, a children’s area, local bands and specialty merchandise and services booth.
Festival admission costs $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and is free for children 12 and under. Bringing in a can of food, for the local food bank, gets you a dollar off admission at the gate.