The calendar may have showed April 6th but the weather had more of a January 6th feel. Despite the rain/snow mix and blustery cold winds the enthusiasm was still high for the participants in the first ever Chocolate Walk in downtown Wauseon. The event was the idea of Wauseon Mayor Kathy Huner has a way to promote down businesses and organizations. Jim Kerr and the Wauseon Downtown Association then took the idea and made it a reality with the help of local merchants.
The walk started at The Studio on the corner of Elm St. and Fulton St., that’s where participants picked up their map/card and their treat bag that was decorated locally by Triangular Processing. From that point the walkers then made their way to the 18 locations listed on the map. At each business they received some chocolate for their bags and the map/card was hole punched. Participants with a completed card,meaning they made it to all 18 locations, then turned their card back in at the end of the evening at The Studio to be entered into the Grand Prize drawing at 7pm. The prize was a one night stay and breakfast in the historic Burr House in Wauseon.
Not only were the participants being treated to chocolate but they were also able to discover some downtown businesses that they possibly were never introduced to before. Walkers enjoyed the floral arrangements at AKA Designs, artwork at The Studio and had a chance to do a little painting of their own at the Brush Hour. The highlight for the kids, other than the chocolate, was an opportunity for a picture with the Easter Bunny at Ambria Photography. There was also live entertainment along the route with Kaiden Chase performing at The Upper Crust, Wells Music performing at Grieser Interiors and Ryan Rolf entertaining the crowd at Sullivan’s Restaurant. Also performing were James Stewart at Grisier Interiors, Lee Warren at the Congregational United Methodist Church of Christ, Michael Buck at the Depot, and John Reichle inside Dancing Light Studio. Also a magic show took place on the Birch Theater stage presented by Dr. Ladd of the Magic Corner Museum. After making all the stops, the crowd came in out of the weather and concluded the evening at Sullivan’s with wine tasting and dinner. The Grand Prize drawing was held at The Studio with Jane Richer of Archbold being the lucky winner of a one night stay and breakfast at the Burr House.
Planning committee member Jim Kerr was very pleased with how things turned out,”What a great time for Wauseon! So many of the participants commented that they visited businesses and churches downtown that they did not know about.The Wauseon Downtown Chocolate Walk will return next year, thanks to the enthusiastic support of the local families, friends and guests. Next year we will try to schedule better weather! Thanks to all of the musicians, the trolley drivers, the providers of chocolate, and the planning committee members. The Wauseon Downtown Association especially wishes to thank Mayor Huner for her vision to bring a chocolate walk to Wauseon” stated Kerr.
Despite the inclement weather Wauseon Mayor Kathy Huner thought the event was well received, “ I received a lot of positive feedback from the participants, even though the weather wasn’t the greatest everyone enjoyed the wine and dinner at Sullivan’s and the weather became a non factor just because everyone was having such a good time. The businesses and local merchants were very enthusiastic about the event and I am looking forward to this becoming an annual event in Wauseon”, commented the Mayor.
The planning committee members for the Chocolate Walk were, Pat Penrod, Paul and Suzanne Zumfelde, Kathy Shaw, Ruth Ann Kast, Joy Schroeder, and Jim Kerr. The proceeds from the event will go to support the work of the Wauseon Downtown Association including: The Wauseon Farmers’ Market, Wauseon Christmas Parade, and the Trolly Museum Project. For more information on the work of the WDA go to their website: wauseondowntown.org