Celebrate Valentine’s Day with chocolate and a dance

| February 7, 2013

COSHOCTON – Mickie Galajda is thankful to live in a community that supports the arts, especially the edible kind.

“We’ve had great response from the culinary artists in our community to donate to the Chocolate Extravaganza,” she said. “This year we have some new people, which I’m really excited about and lots of people who have supported us for years. We also have gotten a really good response from our commercial bakers.”

The Pomerene Center for the Arts 21st annual Chocolate Extravaganza will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Coshocton County Career Center.

“Our venue is the best we’ve ever had,” Galajda said. “It provides us with parking, handicap space and everything we need to serve guests as well as we can.”

Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door.

“Your ticket gets you a selection from three chocolate stations,” Galajda said. “You get to take one piece from the cheesecakes and pies, one from cakes and tortes and three from the sweet treats which includes desserts like cookies, candies and cupcakes. You actually get five desserts which I think is a wonderful serving of chocolate for the price.”

At last year’s event 91 bakers made 150 desserts. Those desserts equaled out to 1,429 servings for the 383 people that bought tickets to the event.

“We have people who have been coming to the event for 21 years and a few who have been baking that long,” Galajda said.

In addition to desserts, attendees of the event also get to enjoy music and art displays.

“The Wayfarers will play all afternoon,” Galajda said. “They are very popular in Coshocton and we are excited to have them coming. They are an American Roots band that plays folk kind of music. The Artist Friends of Pomerene also will be there to display and demonstrate their work so there will be things for people to do while they wait in line.”

The wait also is being addressed by event planners.

“Our biggest complaint is that the line is too long so this year we will have two serving lines,” Galajda said. “We are still offering the same kind of desserts but hopefully we can serve people more quickly.”

Serving people will be the many volunteers who help make the event a success.

“Last year we had around 40 workers who helped make phone calls, set up, serve or clean up,” Galajda said. “It takes a lot of people to do this.”

She is just one of several people who coordinate the Chocolate Extravaganza.

“What we call the Chocolate EX Team includes Anne Cornell, Jill Fry, Shelia McConnell, Kristi Timmons, Donna Westfall and myself,” Galajda said. “We try to include more and more people in leadership roles so when it becomes necessary for someone to step down we can still carry on the event.”

Sponsorship from Dean’s Jewelry, Miller Pharmacy, Rainbow Hills Winery, Warehouse Steak n’ Stein, Knob Hill Design and Frase, Weir, Baker, & McCullough Co., LPA also is a big help.

“We have more sponsors this year than ever before,” Galajda said. “They help us cover the cost of the venue and print publicity.”

The area restaurants and grocery stores also donate desserts and some of the gourmet sweets that are provided to the event are part of a raffle.

Tickets for the Chocolate Extravaganza are available from Pomerene Center for the Arts board members, Dean’s Jewelry, Good News Bookstore, Medbery Marketplace, The Village Pantry, online at www.pomerenearts.org or by calling the Pomerene Center at 622-0326. Reserved tickets can be held for you at the door.

“This event is the largest fundraiser for Pomerene,” Galajda said. “Money raised is used for operating expenses and maintenance of the Pomerene Center. It was a gift to our community and we are charged with taking care of it and promoting arts in our community.”

Your Valentine’s celebration doesn’t have to end with the Chocolate Extravaganza. You can dance the night away at the Sweetheart Dance from 8 to 11 p.m. that night at Lake Park Pavilion. Tickets for the dance are $15 and proceeds go to the Friends of the Parks.

“It’s been going on for almost 15 years and I think that’s because nothing compares to this venue, the Lake Park Big Band and the fact that it’s so affordable,” said Lori Everhart, park director. “People love it and coming here to listen to music that was actually played at the Pavilion during the 20s and 30s. You don’t have a lot of venues like this anymore.”

People of all ages enjoy the dance and come from as far away as Cleveland and Pittsburg, Pa.

“We’ve had high school students come and even a couple in their 80s that always come and do every single dance,” Everhart said.

Attire for the event also varies as much as the ages of those who attend.

“One year we had someone come in a full zoot suit, but most men come in dress slacks and women in skirts,” Everhart said. “Really it’s whatever you are comfortable dancing in.”

Refreshments will be available or you can bring your own.

“The Friends of the Parks will have a snack table with items available for a donation, but you are also welcome to bring in your own bottle of wine and a cheese tray or finger foods,” Everhart said.

Call 622-7528 to reserve your tickets and/or a table for a group. The doors open at 7:30 p.m. and tickets also can be purchased that night.

Coshocton Trucking is sponsoring the event.

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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