A number of balloon towers greeted students when they arrived at the sign-in table by the entrance to Storch Memorial Building. Even though the long line promised a considerable wait, students seemed excited for the event. One of the first large scale in person events on campus in almost a year was finally about to begin.
Over the afternoon of Mar. 5, 2021, Trinity University’s Student Programming Board (SPB) put on the annual Chocolate Fest. The theme this year was Travis Scott’s Astroworld, so the festival was appropriately named Chocolate World. Traditionally the event takes place around Valentine’s Day and allows different clubs and departments to make chocolate treats that anyone can try. However, this year’s Chocolate Fest was different due to COVID-19.
Small local bakeries gave away their goodies to students instead of clubs, giving students a unique situation from years past. That Cookie Tho Bakery, Annie’s Petite Treats, El Paraiso Ice Cream, Macarons by Drew, and The Art of Donut all had tents situated on upper campus where they gave away their desserts.
COVID-19 regulations necessitated other changes to the festival as well. Students had to sign up for a time slot and a tour group several days before the event, so walk-ons were not allowed. The structured nature of the tour required some waiting for sign-in at the beginning, but after that the tour flowed quite smoothly. Each group numbered about 12 people and was led by a guide from station to station getting chocolate desserts from each.
A refreshing cup of peppermint hot chocolate started the tour off in a Winter Wonderland. Next up was the giveaway booth, where attendees received a choice of numerous articles of free clothing emblazoned with Chocolate World logos. Following that students headed to Candyland, where they could try cupcakes and chocolate-shaped board game pieces. A short hop from Candyland took tours to Carnival, where we took in more donuts than we could carry. After donuts we went to Space where we enjoyed cosmic brownies, earth cake pops, and galaxy macarons. The final stop was at Fiesta, where we had churros in chocolate sauce, chocolate conchas, and chocolate paletas.
The success of an event of such a large size shows how it is possible to hold events on campus in the time of COVID-19 and still follow social distancing and masking requirements. In general there was a positive reaction to the event. When asked about Chocolate World, attendee Christian Kennedy, Class of 2024, stated that he “was glad that it happened, though [he] really wished there was more happening on campus, and hopefully this shows that more events can be done and done safely.”