By Jamie Brewer
Ingham County Chronicle
LANSING-Nineteen shops and restaurants in Old Town Lansing set up for the Valentine’s Day inspired Chocolate Walk on Thursday, Feb. 12.
Participants were given a map of Old Town’s shops and a box to fill with two pounds of gourmet chocolate from various businesses.
The event sold all 180 tickets last year and had 240 this year.The event sold all 180 tickets last year and had 240 this year.
Tickets were $15 prior to the event on Old Town’s website, or $20 at the door. The event took place on Turner Street and Grand River Avenue.
Chocolate Walk coordinator Allison Castiglione said people “enjoyed walking around with their significant other” in 2014.
The event welcomed couples and families to stroll the streets of Old Town and to head to Zoobie’s Old Town Tavern afterward.
Mother Earth Boutique owner Lynn Ross said events like the Chocolate Walk “are great at giving people a reason to see Old Town.”
The event brings the community together and allows people who might not typically see Old Town to come explore the businesses, according to Ross.
People are able to enjoy chocolate while checking out what Old Town has to offer.
The chocolate walk brought a lot of publicity to Bella Rio salon, according to owner Faith Waugh, who participated last year.
“Almost everybody that came had never been to the salon,” Waugh said.
Businesses in Old Town gathered chocolates from various chocolates stores.
“We had our (cookie truffles) made by a local individual,” said Polka Dots Bead-A-Ful Boutique owner Jennifer Hinze.
Other shops went with a theme in their chocolates.
“We got milk chocolates shaped like flags because all of our products are made in America,” Ross said.
The event also gave businesses a reason to stay open later. Ross said her baby boutique, which is usually open until 7 p.m., was open until 8 p.m.
Hinze, who moved to Old Town about three months ago, said she was excited for the event and hopes people will see her boutique.
Establishments in Old Town cherish events like the Chocolate Walk because they help people do something different while seeing the town, Ross said.