About 40 local and regional vendors – including top area chocolatiers – will fill the Aquarium galleries, offering samples and sales of their gourmet chocolates, baked goods and specialty foods. In addition, guests can meet “Willy Wonka’s” original Mike TeeVee and sit in on free presentations by celebrity chefs Barret Beyer, Tony Albanese and Larry Rosenberg, as well as famed mentalist The Amazing Kreskin.
To pack it all in, the Aquarium will stay open two hours longer than normal – until 7 p.m.
The sweetest part of the day, however, is that admission on Jan. 29 costs less than a regular Aquarium ticket. For one day only, guests can enjoy jellyfish and gelato, tree frogs and truffles, crabs and caramels – all at discounted prices, especially with advance online purchase.
Buy your tickets online – even on the day of The Chocolate Expo – for the deliciously discounted prices of $15 for adults and $10 for children 3-12. (Under 3, free.) Tickets purchased at the door will be $20 for adults and $15 for children. Paid admission on Jan. 29 is required of Maritime Aquarium members: $13 for adults and $8 for children.
(Regular admission to The Maritime Aquarium is $22.95 for adults and $15.95 for children.)
“It’s a recipe you can’t beat: take all of the animals and exhibits of The Maritime Aquarium – at a substantial discount – blended with decadent chocolates and specialty foods, and topped with celebrity chefs and other free bonus guests and activities,” said Dave Sigworth, the Aquarium’s publicist. “You might find some other chocolate show somewhere, but it won’t also offer sharks, seals, sea turtles and other marine life. As we say every year, you’d have to be dipped in nuts not to enjoy this special day and this great deal.”
This year, for the first time, an off-peak ticket for admission between 5 & 7 p.m. is available for $10 per person; an even greater discount.
News 12 Connecticut is media sponsor of the 2017 Chocolate Expo at The Maritime Aquarium.
Expo producer Marvin Baum said The Chocolate Expo is for people who are serious about chocolate and who love unique specialty foods.
“Vendors at the Expo typically offer small tasting-sized portions of their products,” Baum said. “Think of the chocolate tastings in the way you might think of a wine tasting at a winery: you get a small sample to try and you often get to talk with the person who made the product. If you like what you’ve tasted, you can purchase that product for yourself or to give as gifts.”
Expo/Aquarium visitors will find not only traditional and gourmet chocolates, but also specialty offerings like chocolate-covered bacon, chocolate tarts, candy apples, fudge, chocolate-covered pretzels, chocolate vinaigrettes, and even chocolate-infused Brussels sprouts and chocolate-scented candles.
Kids can take part in art activities at 11 am, noon and 1 & 2 pm, and also be transformed by a face-painter between 11 am & 3 pm. These are free with admission.
Maritime Center, 10 North Water Street in Norwalk
Sunday, Jan 29
For more information about The Chocolate Expo, go to www.thechocolateexpo.com or www.maritimeaquarium.org

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