Chocolate Festival to Celebrate Sweets in St. Stephen

Participants and coordinators of last year's Chocolate Fest were delighted with the response from the St. Stephen community and from its many visitors during the week-long event. (Facebook photo)

By Lura Jackson


As the home of internationally renowned Ganong chocolates, St. Stephen is widely regarded as “Canada’s Chocolate Town”. To celebrate this enviable stature, for the past 33 years St. Stephen has been holding Chocolate Fest. This year’s festival offers a week of chocolate-themed events between the dates of August 5th to August 12th. 

There are literally dozens of events happening throughout the week in St. Stephen, and chocolate fans and families will have no problem satisfying their sweet tooth and celebrating the history of an industry that has become a successful worldwide venture.

On August 4th, just before the festival officially begins, there will be a hooked rug gallery exhibit at the Garcelon Civic Centre from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The exhibit will feature hooked rugs from all over Canada, each of which depicts art from either a box of Ganong’s chocolates or an advertisement they’ve used in the past. The exhibit will include live rug hooking demonstrations and live music. “The artwork is impeccable,” said Alex Reid, events coordinator for St. Stephen.

The official start of the festival is Delecto Day on Saturday. Delecto Day offers its participants a full day of activity at Ganong Place. Interesting activities and informational events will be held at Ganong’s throughout the festival, including candy making on Monday, August 7th and the Chicken-Bone Bash on August 8th. 

If your chocolate didn’t come out too well on Monday, don’t worry – there are sundaes available in the Ganong Chocolate park from 10 to 2. If that’s still not enough to satisfy your craving, you'll be able to fill it during the chocolate pudding eating contest between 11 a.m. and noon on August 8th in the Town Square – and don’t forget the cookie decorating contest on August 9th from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the St. Stephen Elementary School cafeterium.

Aside from being able to eat copious amounts of chocolate, participants in the festival can also engage in some other family-oriented activities. There will be a golf tournament, a kids’ dog show, and a tennis skills challenge for ages 6-16 at the Milltown tennis courts on Tuesday, August 8th. On August 7th, kids 9 and under can run in the 1k Chicken-Bone run while others can opt for the 5k Fun/Run walk or the 3k Jelly Bean Colour Run.

On Thursday, festival-goers will have the opportunity to bring their children to the Milltown Elementary School Fun Day and Candy Hunt, held between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. Immediately afterwards is the Chocolate-themed public swim at the W.T. Booth Community Pool where a variety of competitions will be held.

Aspiring candy makers will also be able to participate in the Recipe to Riches contest on Friday at 11 at the Atlantic Superstore. Bring in some samples of your family recipes and you may be among the winners of “exciting” prizes. If dancing and socializing are more your style, Friday night gives that opportunity with the Chicken-Bone Pink Carpet Gala at the Garcelon Civic Center. The gala begins at 6:30 p.m.

The conclusion of the chocolate festival is marked by the 44th annual International Homecoming Festival Parade, where the Great Chocolate Mousse and Tiffany will be among the featured guests. For a full listing of activities, visit