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Chocolate, coffee fest is March 21-22

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest, a celebration of two flavorful favorites, is set for March 21-22 at Expo New Mexico.

The show, which bills itself as “the sweetest show on earth,” is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day in the Manuel Lujan building. Baking competitions, eating contests, wine tastings and live music will occur as the scent of roasting coffee from Fans of Film Café fills the hall.

Culinary students from the Central New Mexico community college will show off sugar sculptures with hand-crafted chocolate truffles, and visitors can vote on their favorite and enter a raffle to win the chocolates.

Raffle tickets are $1, and proceeds benefit the culinary program.

The Villa Myriam Local Lounge will serve up local beer made with local coffee, while the Cupcake Wine & Coffee Lounge hosts free tastings of Cupcake wine. The S’Mores Eating contest happens both days.

The Guittard Chocolate Baking Competitions happen in two categories March 22 – cookies, bars and candy at 2 p.m., and cakes, cupcakes and pies at 3:30 p.m.

Winners receive $200, while second place pockets $75. The Best Young Baker (under age 18) in each category wins $50.

Tickets for the festival are $10 adults, $8 seniors, students and military (with ID) and free for children 12 and under. Parking at Expo New Mexico is $5 per vehicle.

Online ticket purchases at include admission, a coffee mug and $10 gift cards to Cococlectic Chocolate Club and Shoes on a Shoestring.

To receive a $1 discount at the door, bring two non-perishable food items, which will be donated to Roadrunner Food Bank.