Crowds flock to the community to enjoy the chocolate festival

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Back to its traditional time on the third weekend in May, there was music, a corn hole, lots of food stalls, classic cars, cool treats, unique art and gems… all the ingredients combine to serve up fun at the Oakdale Chocolate Festival.

Organized by the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce, this year was the 30th annual festival, which took place on Saturday and Sunday May 21 and 22. It covered part of South Yosemite Avenue and also saw stalls in Wood Park and scattered across some sides of the streets as well.

“This weekend was another successful event for the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce. We still had many challenges ahead after the past two years, but we continue to move in a positive direction to support our businesses and our community,” said Oakdale Chamber CEO Trisha K. Brown.

Crowd turnout was good on both days, with sunny weather but a breeze that helped keep temperatures tolerable, and there was plenty for festival-goers to see and do.

Still, Brown said this 30th anniversary year doesn’t quite show the levels of supplier participation as they’ve seen in the past, before the pandemic.

“Many are still struggling and unfortunately weren’t able to join us this year,” she explained. “We look forward to continuing to use the Oakdale Chocolate Festival as an opportunity for organizations of all types and sizes to grow and thrive in Oakdale.”

A music scene presented almost non-stop entertainment and many young people jumped at the chance to pose for photos with Buzz Lightyear or Grogu, some of the characters present for “Meet and Greets”.

The majority of those who attended the festival this year went maskless, although a few were prominent in the crowds.

Also this year, the Oakdale Cowboy Museum opened and welcomed visitors for tours, as well as crafts and activities for children.

The Classic Car Show brought many shiny vehicles to town and the Corn Tournament had several teams competing.

A mechanical bull, a super slide and lots of inflatables and a bouncy house provided space for the kids, while there was also the popular bungee jumping activity and Water Ballerz.

Something for all tastes and thirsts was available along the food row and vendors also had a variety of merchandise for sale, from tie-dye T-shirts to artwork, trinkets and children’s toys. children with handmade jewelry.

The Chocolate Avenue area had vendors selling sweet treats, chocolate and plenty of samples available for festival goers to try as well.

Runners lined up for the fun run mile and 5k on Saturday morning, kicking off the weekend’s festivities.

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