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Pure Imagination

By Paula Gottlieb Herman

It’s no secret how much I love chocolate! I have created “I Love Lucy” Chocolate Factory Parties for the last 13 years, have dressed up like Willy Wonka for Halloween, and offer cooking classes featuring chocolate as a key ingredient. So, when we get invited to cover The Chocolate Expo at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City twice a year, I make sure to clear our calendar so we can report on what we discovered. The Chocolate Expo is the largest chocolate event in the U.S. with locations in NY, NJ, CT, and MA.

The Chocolate Expo 2017 Holiday Edition allowed us all to feel like little kids again. With the holidays just around the corner, attendees could visit 90 vendor booths showcasing chocolate confections, baked goods, artisanal products, beverages, etc.  Talk about being a kid in a candy store! I so enjoyed sampling chocolate truffles, hand painted Belgian chocolate bars filled with fruit, crispy cookies, power-packed snacks, gluten-free items, and more.

A new feature for this event was 3 laser light shows with holiday themes for Christmas, Chanukah and Winter! We sat with amazement as colorful lights danced on giant theater screens choreographed to holiday music.

Now that we were in the spirit of the holidays, it was a lot of fun decorating donuts with glazes and toppings for Chanukah or decorating Christmas cookies. I was encouraged by one of the dads I met while mixing up some chocolate glaze, to get my face painted. His face already had a Spider-Man mask artfully painted on. So, I headed over to get my microphone hand painted. And within a few minutes, a beautiful flower emerged that complemented my pink chef hat. And it was bejeweled, too!

Entertainment is a big part of The Chocolate Expo experience. Costume characters were there to take photos with and to have fun with-Willy Wonka, I Love Lucy, Star Wars, etc. I had the privilege of being a back-up singer for Chelsea Takami Miyazaki as we sang, “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” with photographer, Ed Shin.

In addition to all the amazing vendor booths, there are 75 aircraft and spacecraft exhibits to check out. And, for all those who wanted to relive their youth, a retro gaming exhibit with 90 classic arcade and console games, was the place to be. My husband, Michael, was so excited to play Defender, where he gets to save humans from the aliens; one of the many games he used to play in his high school and college days. While I initially expected to see children playing these games, it really was fun to see so many adults playing them.

I also really liked meeting some of the other attendees. I met a kindred spirit with a Betsey Johnson purse that looked like a retro telephone complete with a working handset. I met a young girl dressed in a chef outfit who goes by the name, Mini Kosher Chef, and loads of other foodies out to enjoy this carefully curated event.

We cover a lot of events throughout the year, and work with many event organizers. But, I can say wholeheartedly that Baum Image Group, Inc. is among my favorites to work with. They do all they can to make the guest experience delicious, memorable, and family oriented.

Your next chance to attend The Chocolate Expo at the Cradle of Aviation Museum is Sunday, March 4, 2018. So, come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination!


The Chocolate Expo 2017 Holiday Edition

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