Small towns across America all have unique events and ideas to bring in visitors to the area, attract shoppers to their downtown squares and generally promote business. That being said, there aren’t many who go so wholeheartedly into great ideas as the Covington Square does.
If a visitor were to stroll through the historic downtown court square of Covington, TN, in the next couple of weeks, they would likely feel the excitement of local shop owners and visitors as they buzz about the upcoming 6th annual Chocolate Tour hosted by the Covington Economic Development Corporation (CEDC), with the assistance of the Covington TIpton County Chamber of Commerce. The tour will begin on Saturday, February 10th from 10 am - 4 pm.
Those looking for the perfect day trip with girlfriends, or an early Valentine’s Day date should make plans to visit downtown Covington for a real treat! Visitors might even feel the urge to have their photo taken with the Chocolate Tour photo booth.
Tickets are ready for pre-sale ($5), posters and flyers are out, radio stations have jumped on board with ticket giveaways for listeners who call in! Tickets are available at participating downtown merchants, at the Covington-Tipton Chamber office located at 106 W. Liberty in Covington and on the day of the event at the Ruffin Theatre, Patriot Bank, and the Chamber office.
With tickets in hand, guests can follow the map with the numbered locations as they experience the tasting tour throughout historic downtown Covington. Event parking, restaurants, and restrooms are denoted on the map. After stopping by each of the over 20 downtown locations, guests are encouraged to mark the location that had their favorite chocolate, and drop their completed ballots/tickets in the box at the Chamber office, Patriot Bank, or the Ruffin, for a chance to win a basket filled with chocolate desserts, gift certificates, and a variety of goodies! Voters must visit all of the businesses for their votes to count. In order to be fair, they really have to sample all of the Chocolate.
From Berry Bombs at Uptown Curls, Wildflower Dirt at Wildflowers, Chocolate Dipped Pickle Chips at Wyatt Earp's, to Rocky Road Bites, Chocolate Girl Scout Cookies, Chocolate Firecrackers, and at Persnickety - Chocolate Liqueurs. Each business has a unique treat and will have enough for each person in the expected crowd. According to one of the many volunteers, “I love seeing the smiles, parents in line with their children who are eagerly awaiting treats and people who are here for the first time, seeing a new-found treasure in our square.”
Marty Simmons, participant, and owner of Patina, on the Square in Covington, summed up the event, “It’s fun, people come from all around. One year, ice and snow covered everything and we thought we might as well not be here, but people came from everywhere that day.” Simmons smiled, “It’s amazing what people will do for chocolate!”
Expectations are that there will be over 2500 visitors going through the tour. And the businesses compete for the year’s title. They are inventive with their chocolate offerings and make sure everyone has fun. Simmons concluded, “It’s not as much about the sales, people come back to buy the next week - it’s about the fun.”
This event is also the CEDC’s biggest fundraiser of the year. They use the funds to promote tourism, promote the downtown area, work with the farmer’s market, host the scarecrow contest, fund the hanging flower baskets during the spring and summer months and the small business incubator buildings that connect to the farmer’s market.
For more information, go the to the Covington Tipton Chamber facebook page or the events page: #ChocolateTour18 or go to the Historic Covington Square facebook page.