Everything is better with chocolate

Mark your calendar now: Asheville Chocolate & Arts Festival is right around the corner. The pretty-much-everything-awesome event will be held at the US Cellular Center on Saturday, Dec. 8 from noon-7 p.m. Advance tickets are $15.

“Ticket price includes free chocolate samples, world music and dance performances, fashion show and dance workshops, and access to the local and international artisans market,” says the festival’s website.

Most important, the chocolate. It will be provided by French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Ulimana Raw Chocolate, Raw Shakti Chocolate, Sinless Raw Chocolate, Choffy cacao drinks and Raw herbal Chocolates, along with tasty treats from Worlds Best Carrot Cake, Everyday Gourmet, True Confections, Kids at Work!, Culinary Arts and The Greenlight Cafe.

Performers include:
• River Guerguerian and Odyessey student drum band
• Juan Holladay and the Secret B-Sides (a performance for children)
• Cherokee Storytelling and music with Matthew Tooni
• Tribal Fusion Belly Dance with Lisa Zahiya
• Aztec Dancer John Jaramillo
• Bollywood-style Indian dance by Gayatri Mahadevan
• Argentine Tango and Chacarera with Vista Ballroom
• African American Gospel Choir with drums and piano
• Celebration Singers Children’s Chorus
• Eternity hip-hop dance troupe lead by Michael Hayes
• Afro-Brazilian dance
• Zansa

And then there’s a fashion show, with models ages 7-60 wearing clothes from HoneyPot, Royal Peasantry, The Costume Shoppe and Vintage Moon, all to the drum beats of Adama Dembele.

And there will be special programs: Urban Dharma and the Tibetan Buddhist Community lead meditation and prayers; Harold Rigaud exhibits paintings depicting Haitian culture; the documentary Color me Brown (about race relations in Asheville) will be shown.

Need another reason to attend? How about this: 20-percent of proceeds will be donated to local nonprofits Odyessy Community School to fund arts education, a culinary arts program for at-risk youth and the Urban Arts Institute youth dance/film.


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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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