Photo by Ryan Augustyniak
Siblings Josiah and Adele Donoho sample treats at the 17th annual Chocolate Festival Upper Alton Baptist Church.
ALTON — The 19th annual Chocolate Festival sponsored by the Upper Alton Christian Ringers Handbell Choir will be 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, in Peck Hall at Upper Alton Baptist Church, 2726 College Ave. at Seminary Street.
Admission is $5 for the all-you-can-eat event; children younger than school age will be admitted free. There will be no carry-outs. The chocolate treats are prepared and donated by the choir and church members.
The first festival in 1998 was a fundraiser for the choir’s concert trip to Italy. First held at the Cousley House Bed and Breakfast, the festival outgrew the space and has since been held at Upper Alton Baptist, with the exception of a few years at College Avenue Presbyterian Church when the choir was sponsored by both churches.
The handbell choir was organized 46 years ago as the Upper Alton Baptist Handbell Choir and is sponsored solely by the Upper Alton Baptist Church. It has been active in church and community events since that time. Ringers represent College Avenue Presbyterian, St. Ambrose-Godfrey, First Methodist Jerseyville and the Upper Alton Baptist churches.
The outreach group welcomes anyone to attend the festival as well as the Christmas and spring concerts and to participate as choir ringers. Although it is sponsored by the church, the choir is a self-sustaining group; proceeds from the festival and concerts are used for choir expenses. In addition to all the chocolate you can eat, there will be a raffle for a Teddy bear handmade from a fur coat.