The Covington Square is at it again! Get ready, because, on February 9th, the Seventh Annual Chocolate Tour is taking over the Historic Covington Square.
The idea behind the Chocolate Tour is to bring a fun and festive event to the Downtown Historic District in Covington. It’s also a great way to bring new patrons into local businesses, ‘Miss Bobbie’ with Merle Norman, who has been on the square for 49 years February 1st, said that the Chocolate Tour helps bring new people from Memphis and the surrounding area to her store. Court Square Antiques owner, Lisa Keith, also agreed that people from all over the Mid-South stop in. Past Times Antiques mentioned how much people enjoy the event, “We get a lot of repeat customers from it!”
So, what goes on during the tour? Well, customers may purchase their tickets via either presale or on the day of the event. Once a ticket has been purchased, it serves as a map of all the participating businesses. Customers will then follow their “maps” to each business where they will receive a delicious chocolate treat. Once every stop on the map has been completed, the visitor's vote on which business’s chocolate they enjoyed the most. Later, the votes are tallied and a People’s Choice Award is announced to the business with the most popular chocolate that year. There is also an opportunity to win a huge gift basket with items from a number of local businesses in the Covington Square community. In order to be eligible for the gift basket, participants must have visited all of the participating locations on the map and list a phone number on the ticket they submit. The majority of the local merchants have sales and promotions going on for the event.
The different stores make different chocolate confections for the customers to collect. In years past, Bayou Belle’s and Upscale Antiques & More have both made different types of fudge. Kathryn’s Flowers has had chocolate pecans and chocolate covered pretzels. The crew at Choate's Air Conditioning, Heating, & Plumbing told us how much “people from all over enjoy the event”. Nancy Ward with What a Deal described the Chocolate Tour as a type of “adult trick-or-treating--it’s just so much fun!”
When looking back on past six years of the Chocolate Tour, each and every store had great things to say about the event. Marty Simmons the owner of Patina said: “the Chocolate Tour is, a square event that people really look forward to every year.” This is the second year that Buff City Soap is getting to participate, and they loved it last year: “We like giving out the chocolate and we want to participate as long as we’re here! It’s a great event.”
Something Special starts planning far in advance when it comes to deciding what chocolate they're going to offer, “it takes about a week or two to get your chocolates made. To make them fresh, we have to start early.” Ms. Lydia, the owner of Lydia’s Fashion & Designer Boutique, normally has chocolate cake at her store, “I know I can make a cake. I do the chocolate tour because it gets people in my store. It helps people realize that I’m here and what I do.” Theo & Roe’s Ice Cream Parlor is one of the newest stores on the square and they are really excited to participate in all the different events. We hope to see some delicious chocolate ice cream from them!
The Covington Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) works closely with the Covington-Tipton County Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Covington Association to make this possible each year. The Chocolate Tour brings together a wide variety of volunteers and businesses to put on this local tourism event. The CEDC accommodates businesses and organizations from all over the county to participate in the tour. “We have always received positive feedback from the community about the Chocolate Tour. People love to come out and spend the day on the Square shopping, dining... and of course indulging in delicious chocolates.”
The Chocolate Tour is made possible by continued support from everyone that participates on event day. We appreciate the dedicated customers that make this an annual success. Secondly, all of the local businesses, organizations, and volunteers that work tirelessly year after year make this the special day that it is. The CEDC told us, “Ultimately, the Chocolate Tour is an event that has become a well-branded tourism attraction to our community, recognized not only state-wide but in our region. We want to keep it that way.” They are extremely thankful for all the volunteers and those that participate in the Chocolate Tour. The CEDC believes that the Chocolate Tour has a positive impact, not only on the Historic Covington Square but the community at large. It has helped to “put Covington – Tipton County on the map” for many visitors, as it attracts people from all over the West Tennessee region. The enormity of The Chocolate Tour is exemplified even further by how businesses, organizations, and volunteers pitch in and work hard together to bring this great celebration to the community. The ultimate objective of the Chocolate Tour is to promote tourism and highlight the downtown area and Covington – Tipton County so that the community can truly shine.
Pre-sale tickets will be available for $8 at Munford City Hall, The Covington – Tipton County Chamber of Commerce, and various businesses throughout the Historic Covington Square. Tickets will be $10 at the event. It will be from 10 am to 4 pm on February 9th. For more details please check the Historic Covington Square Facebook page. We will see you there!