Medieval town with stone walls in background, words chocolate festival in focus

The festival is committed to “providing an enjoyable experience for all members of the family, including the four-legged ones”, the Óbidos Town Hall announced.

The Óbidos International Festival will take place in the town between March 1 and 17, in an edition dedicated to “Portugality” and which this year will have a space dedicated to animals.

The 21st edition of the festival is committed to “providing a pleasant experience for all members of the family, including the four-legged ones”, the Óbidos Town Hall announced on Thursday, explaining that among the novelties of the event is “an area dedicated to pet sitting [temporarily looking after someone else’s pet]”.

In a statement about the event, which annually attracts thousands of families to the town in the district of Leiria, the municipality said that “visitors can bring their pets and enjoy the festival with the peace of mind of knowing that their ‘paws’ are well looked after by experienced professionals”.

Considered “one of the most exciting attractions” of the festival, this year’s chocolate sculpture exhibition promises “impressive works of art, entirely made of chocolate”, created by chocolatiers Francisco Siopa, Jorge Cardoso, Lluc Cruselas and José Maria Ribé, among others. The exhibition will include “intricate replicas of local monuments” and “fantastic creations inspired by the imagination”, among the sculptures that “will certainly dazzle visitors”, the municipality also says.

In the 2024 edition, the event will also once again have an area dedicated to the little ones who, according to the organization, will find there “the opportunity to become true master chocolatiers”. In this area, children will be able to engage in interactive activities, such as creating a chocolate piece and decorating it, or taking part in activities for the whole family with games, quizzes, legends and traditional Portuguese tales.

Official Chocolate Festival website Obidos

The festival also promises a diverse cultural program “to entertain visitors of all ages”, including live musical performances, dance demonstrations and theatrical performances, among other initiatives. On the more educational side, the festival will also host competitions for chocolate lovers.

Visitors will also be invited to take part in tasting competitions, where they can sample and evaluate a variety of chocolate creations, from truffles, bonbons, cocktails and even elaborate cakes. The winners “will be rewarded for their culinary prowess in front of an attentive audience”, reads the municipality’s press release.

The International Chocolate Festival is an annual event whose first edition took place in 2002 and which, according to the organization, aims to “promote the local community, offer unique experiences to visitors and support talented chocolatiers and pastry chefs from the region and the country, as well as acting as a showcase for the best that is made in Portugal and the world”. The festival will be open to the public from Friday to Sunday.

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