Things to do in Chicago

Long Grove's iconic ‘Chocolate Fest' returns to historic suburb this weekend

The festival in suburban Long Grove has been said to 'mark the start of festival season in Chicagoland'

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A Chicago suburb this weekend may seem a bit more like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as Long Grove transforms into "Chocolate Fest."

The Long Grove festival for all things chocolate kicks off May 17 at 145 Old McHenry Rd., in downtown Long Grove, according to organizers.

The festival will feature live music, carnival rides, throwback games, and of course -- chocolate, organizers said: Chocolate pie eating contests, chocolate arts crafts, chocolate-covered treats and more.

"We've got three chocolate shops in town," said festival organizer Jesse Desoto. "Anybody that loves chocolate, there's going to be so much down here. This is going to be the place to be this weekend."

The festival, which runs through Sunday, will flip Long Grove's historic downtown into a giant, interactive chocolate factory, event organizers said, with businesses offering interactive experiences like chocolate and wine pairings and tastings, candy-making demonstrations and more.

"Above anything else, Chocolate Fest is known for its diverse selection of cuisine made with or dipped in chocolate," organizers said in the release, noting that food in the past has included "chocolate donuts, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate cupcakes, cake pops, cocoa bombs, chocolate truffles, chocolate croissants, chocolate eclairs, chocolate macarons, hand-dipped fine chocolates, chocolate covered funnel cakes, chocolate popcorn, chocolate cotton candy, frozen hot chocolate, and much more."

The festival runs from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

There will be live music from local musicians throughout the festival:

Friday, May 17

4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Abby Karecki Band

6:30 p.m. to 8:20 p.m.: PettyKings

9 p.m. to 11 p.m.: KennyLive

Saturday, May 18

2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.: InFunktious

4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Fearless: Tribute to Taylor Swift

6:30 p.m. to 8:20 p.m.: Ultrabeat

9 p.m. to 11 p.m.: Sixteen Candles

Sunday, May 19

1:30 p.m. to 3:20 p.m.: Daniel Cronson Band

4 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Simply Billy / Simply Elton

Tickets for the event begin at $5 per day or $10 for a 3-day pass. Tickets can be purchased online in advance.

Themed rides ticketing has three options. 18 tickets are offered for $20, 4 tickets are offered for $5 and during select times, listed on the event website, riders can receive unlimited rides when they pay $32 for a wristband.

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