Lynchburg, VA - Hundreds of people came out to the Lynchburg Community Market for the Chocolate Showcase Saturday - just in time for Valentine's Day.
The event is a new version of what used to be the Chocolate Challenge.
Carl Matice and his wife run Cao Artisan Chocolates at the market. Their booth was one of many that were busy at the Chocolate Showcase.
"I think people love chocolate all year. But at Valentine's Day, chocolate just goes with the romance of the season," said Matice.
Market Director Jennifer Kennedy helped organize the event. She says they made the chocolate a little different this yea, focusing more on Valentine's Day season.
"We decided rather to have a competition where people just got to taste it and not take it home. We would just have the vendors showcase it their booths so that way people could come pick it up and take it home for their own Valentine's Day," Kennedy said.
Dakota Hines and Amber Alger were there to celebrate Valentine's Day in a different way.
"It gets boring doing the same movie and dinner date...so it's unique," said Alger.
And so is the chocolate.
"It's not necessary your average chocolate in a heart-shape box. I mean you can get anything chocolate you want here, and it's all coming from a local business person so that's the amazing thing about it," said Kennedy.
Kennedy says the workshops were also new this year. Matice held one to explain how he and his wife make their chocolate from the bean.
They, along with other vendors, also do tastings to teach people about the different kinds of chocolates.
"Not all chocolate tastes the same. And that getting beans from different countries can affect the different flavors in the chocolate," said Matice.
Kennedy says they hope to have more workshops at the market. Eventually, they want to have local chefs hold cooking demonstrations.