First ever chocolate festival sweetens Downtown Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan (WIBW)--- Every chocolate lovers dream came true during Topeka’s first ever MARS Chocolate Festival.

"Super excited to be here,” said MARS employee, Nic Dawson. “We’ve been overly excited with the turnout and the response from the community and the city today.”

Downtown Topeka businesses, along with local hotels, partnered with MARS Chocolate and Visit Topeka for the festival, which took almost a year to plan.

As if the sweets themselves weren't enough, top food trucks from all over the state, including chocolate vendors, were on hand to satisfy any craving.

"To see everybody come together like this and to spend their Saturday afternoon with us is exciting,” said Dawson.

However, this festival wasn't all fun and games. After snapping a picture with real life M&M’s, attendees got a lesson on the history behind this sweet treat from top notch chocolate experts.

"Today we think about chocolate as decadent treat and it can be, but chocolate for hundreds of years was really a food staple,” said American Heritage Chocolate employee, Dave Borghesani. “People looked at chocolate as a great source of nutrition, a way to get energy, and we've been in love with chocolate for over 3,500 years.”

Organizers said they are hopeful that the event will return next year, but haven’t made any plans yet.