Need an M&M’S gift? Dreamed of a selfie with an M&M’S character or catching a glimpse of the M&M’S NASCAR in person? Those dreams will be sweet reality on Saturday, September 24, as Visit Topeka and Mars Chocolate North America present the inaugural Kansas Chocolate Festival.

  • An M&M’S merchandise retail booth will be located on the south side of the intersection of 9th Street and S. Kansas Avenue, under the HHB BBQ canopy, from noon to 4 p.m. or until sold out. All items will cost less than $20 and only cash will be accepted.
  • The M&M’S NASCAR will be parked on the east side of that intersection, across from the chocolate demonstration stage.
  • M&M’S characters will be walking around the festival throughout the day.
  • The Mars Chocolate North America pocket park in Downtown Topeka will be dedicated during the festival.

“Team Topeka is very excited to be part of the first Kansas Chocolate Festival." said Carrie Lavery, Mars Chocolate Topeka Community Ambassador. “We have some really fun, interactive activities planned and we know it’s going to be a huge success. We’re looking forward to spending the day with our neighbors and sharing with them the pride we have in the Topeka community.”

Mars Chocolate North America opened its Topeka factory in 2014, where Peanut M&M’S and Snickers are produced. The company’s presence in Topeka inspired Visit Topeka to develop the Kansas Chocolate Festival almost two years ago. The result will be for everyone to enjoy Sept. 24.

“We expect the Kansas Chocolate Festival to become an iconic event that allows Topeka to be highlighted with an internationally known brand,” said Brett Oetting, president and CEO of Visit Topeka.  “The entire world knows Mars products, especially M&M’s and Snickers, but they may not know they are made right here in Topeka.  Mars has been great to work with and the first ever festival would not be what it is without them.”

In addition to its retail booth, NASCAR and the M&M’S characters, Mars Chocolate North America is bringing AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate History Ambassadors who will give demonstrations on the main stage throughout the day. Participants will be able to sample several Mars brands throughout the festival, as well as those of chocolatiers and bakers from several states.

No admission will be charged to enter the festival, which will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 24 in Downtown Topeka between Sixth and 10th along South Kansas Avenue. Topeka Metro is offering a free shuttle bus, 9:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., from the east side of Hummer Sports Park near the football field to 6th and South Kansas Avenues.

For more information and details on other planned activities, including other participating chocolatiers, live music, food trucks and the Kansas Chocolate Festival Baking Competition, which will award cash prizes and bragging rights in several categories, go to http://www.VisitTopeka.com/KSChocolate.

Upcoming Visit Topeka events include:

Kansas Mariachi Festival, Sept. 16, in Downtown Topeka
Kansas Chocolate Festival, Sept. 24, in Downtown Topeka
Topeka Science & Tech Fest, Oct. 15, in Downtown Topeka
More in December and 2017, details coming soon. Learn more at VisitTopeka.com/events

As Topeka's official destination marketing organization, Visit Topeka is dedicated to marketing the region as an exceptional destination for meetings, events, sports and leisure tourism, thereby enhancing the local economy. Visit Topeka is a 501(c)6 not-for-profit organization. Find more information at VisitTopeka.com.

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