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The 1st annual Okanagan Hot Chocolate Festival is coming to Kelowna

An exciting new event is coming to Kelowna in the new year and it will last for nearly a month.

The first annual Okanagan Hot Chocolate Festival, the first of its kind in the valley, will be held from Jan. 17 until Feb. 14.

It takes inspiration from similar festivals in Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal that have seen great success in recent years.

“We saw the success other Canadian cities had and were envious. Like, wow, I hope someone does that here in the Okanagan,” explained organizer Taryn Shalapata, who co-founded Food Tours Kelowna and hosts The Okanagan Food Show podcast with her sister Murissa.

“We both paused and looked at each other. Well why don’t we make it happen instead of waiting?”

A number of the Okanagan’s most popular restaurants, cafés, bakeries and chocolate shops will be joining in on the festivities by creating unique and delicious hot chocolate flavours.

That includes Frankie, We Salute You!, QB Gelato & Cafe, Sandrine’s Chocolate & Pastry, Ratio Coffee & Pastry and many others.

It will be a friendly competition between all the participants and winners will be determined by voting on the festival’s website.

Guests will be encouraged to get involved by posting a photo of themselves sipping on one of the hot chocolate creations as well and tagging or hashtagging the festival on social media.

While the main goal is to have people enjoy some incredible cups of warm cuppa cocoa created by local businesses, it will also be a great way to raise money for Mamas for Mamas.

“Each year we hope to select a different charity in order to do some good in our community,” Murissa explained.

“We’ve watched Mamas for Mamas do some great things both here in the Okanagan and nationwide and couldn’t be prouder to select them for our annual event.”

For more information, visit the Okanagan Hot Chocolate Festival website or check them out on Instagram and Facebook!

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