(Feb. 14, 2014) Chocoholics can get a double dose of the sweet stuff this weekend, with Death By Chocolate’s return to West Ocean City on Sunday, Feb. 16.
The game takes players to a variety of shops across the Route 50 bridge, where merchants will serve an assortment of free, chocolate treats as participants move from store to store to complete their game cards. Winners will take home a variety of prizes, from gift cards and a spa package to a chocolate tower made by Wockenfuss Candies.
“It’s about getting to know who your local merchants are,” said Louise Reardon, who organizes Death By Chocolate with Jan Patterson-Hohman, co-owner of CraZy LadyZ!, one of the businesses taking part in the event. “It’s a fun day, it’s a happy day, it’s a crazy day,” Reardon said.
To play in the seventh annual Death By Chocolate game, players pick up a “Name that Tune” game card at any of the 19 participating merchants on Sunday. They must visit each participating store, in any order, get their cards validated, find a clue to figure out the tune and artist and, of course, indulge in chocolate treats.
“You’ll probably see chocolate in ways you’ve never seen it before. Some of the merchants go way out,” Reardon said. “You might see cookies, you might see candies, you might see muffins or brownies. Some places, I know, serve libations with chocolate.”
The stores will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., so she advises that players give themselves plenty of time to make the full round.
After collecting each clue, players will be able to “name that tune” and artist. They can leave their completed cards at the last stop on their route or bring them to Sunset Grille, on Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City, by 6 p.m. for a chance to win prizes.
Everyone with a completed card has a chance to win one of the 19 prizes at the 7 p.m. Sunset Grille drawing. Players don’t have to be present to win and winners will be notified the next day, Monday, Feb. 17.
Because some prizes contain alcohol, players must be at least 21 to enter.
There will be an after-party at the restaurant, where a buy-one-get-one special for an entrée and appetizer runs from 4-7 p.m. for those with a “Death By Chocolate” reservation. Reardon suggests make dinner reservations in advance for Sunset Grille under the “Death By Chocolate” name, though those without reservations can still enjoy the specials at the bar.
Those specials start at 1 p.m. and include $3.25 wine, $1.75 domestic beer, $4 orange crushes and $4 chocolate martinis in honor of the event.
Reardon and Patterson-Hohman got the idea for Death By Chocolate from another town.
“It was so successful that we took it and brought it to Ocean City,” Reardon said.
Each year participation grows and new merchants this year include Bungalow 7, Impact Home Technology and The Children’s Book Garden, she said.
Bliss Salon & Spa is one of the returning businesses, back for its sixth year with Bliss chocolate for everyone who enters, owner Beth Miller said.
“It’s just a fun event and it gets people in your store — people that normally wouldn’t come in to small, local stores,” she said. “People bring their family (or) friends and make a day of it.”
Players should keep an eye out for a chocolate fountain or drink at Bliss this year, she added.
“It’s a great event,” said Chris Butler, manager at Wockenfuss Candies, which will dish up chocolate-covered strawberries and other sweet treats this year.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s brings in a lot of locals,” she said.
Some players make a day of Death By Chocolate, visiting some merchants in the morning, stopping for lunch and continuing on into the evening, Reardon said.
It is free to participate in the game and sample the chocolates at each business.
Last year, just over 500 people took part in the game.
“What else can you do in the dead of winter?” Reardon said. “It’s a great day.”
Death By Chocolate starts at participating stores at 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, and continues until 5 p.m. at the stores and into the evening at Sunset Grille.
Call 410-213-8110 to make dinner reservations and don’t forget to use “Death By Chocolate.” For more information on the game, call 410-213-2085.
Participating stores and prizes:
• CraZy LadyZ! – $50 gift certificate
• Monkey’s Trunk – $50 gift certificate
• Kendall Furniture – Memory foam pillow valued at $119
• Bliss Salon & Spa – Manicure and pedicure valued at $60
• OC Floor Gallery – $200 gift certificate
• The Children’s Book Garden – $50 gift certificate
• IMPACT Home Technology – Pick either a Samsung 3D BlueRay player or Apple TV
• Paws & Claws – $25 gift certificate
• Ocean City Organics-$25 gift certificate
• OC Chamber of Commerce – “Ocean City” gift basket valued at $75
• Buddahs & Beads – $50 gift certificate
• A Perfect Face – 45-minute neck and back massage and spa products
• Bungalow 7 – $50 gift certificate
• Wockenfuss – Chocolate tower
• Park Place Jewelers – Pandora bracelet with one charm
• West O Bottle Shop – Gift basket valued at $25
• Marlin Market – Basket of Cheer and gas card valued at $75 combined
• Snapdragon – $50 gift certificate
• Sunset Grille – $50 gift certificate