Big Weekend for Food and Wine Events

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Lots of food and wine events this weekend, almost too much. Almost.

The Festival of Chocolate is Saturday and Sunday, March 5 and 6, at the Orlando Science Center in Loch Haven Park. There will be classes, competitions, demonstrations, chocolate activities for kids only, chocolate activities for adults only (not what you think), chocolate and wine pairings, and, of course, lots of opportunities to indulge in chocolate edibles of all kind.

The FOC is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Follow this link to the Festival of Chocolate’s Web page for more information and to purchase your “chocolate chip” currency in advance.

Just a few miles east of Loch Haven, the Food & Wine Festival at Baldwin Park will kick into gear at 6 p.m. Saturday. Benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Baldwin Park event has become an anticipated annual event that fills the neighborhood’s Village Center. There will be food and wine stations for you to stroll among and sample. You can get a list of participants at the Food & Wine Festival at Baldwin Park Web site. You can purchase tickets there, too. Cost is $65 if you purchase in advance or $75 if you just show up at the gate.

Also Saturday night is the Central Florida Cattle Barons’ Ball, benefiting American Cancer Society. This is one of the top events of the gala season. That might be because instead of wearing the usual taffeta gown and tuxedo (not the same person), attendees get duded up in clean cowboy shirts, jeans, boots and gingham dresses (again, not the same person).

The event features a dine around with culinary creations from restaurants including Rosen Shingle Creek, including Cala Bella, one of my favorites, Rosen Centre, Rosen Plaza, J.W. Marriott, Double Tree at Sea World, Hilton at O.C.C.C., Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, K Restaurant, Cafe Tu Tu Tango, Omni at Champions Gate, Sysco Foods, Nestle Foods, Three 2 Oh Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream, Windermere Country Club, Cuisinier's Catered Events, Vital Flair Catering, Marriott Orlando World Center, BB Kings, and City Fire.

Entertainment will be provided by country music recording artist Ty Herndon.

I’m exhausted already and it isn’t even the weekend.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Cattle Baron’s Ball Web site.

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