One of the sweetest events in Aiken will take place this weekend.

St. Mary’s School and Parish is hosting the 25th Annual Chocolate Festival on Saturday. The event includes carnival games, live music, a small silent auction, a craft show, a plant sale and a used book and DVD store, according to a press release. A pie-eating contest will also be held, and anyone interested in competing can sign up the day of the festival.

Festival Coordinator Rosemarie Adams said she remembers baking cookies with her mother for the festival, and she continued to do the same with her own children. She said the community has been so supportive and receptive to the festival over the years that it has become a very popular event.

“We’re super excited to be celebrating our 25th year,” Adams said, later adding, “There’s definitely something for everyone. It’s a wonderful day, and those who attend really have a fun time.”

The event draws people from Aiken County and Augusta, Columbia and other surrounding areas. The festival is an opportunity to also showcase St. Mary’s School and Parish.

Anyone attending should come hungry because they’re guaranteed to leave the event full. Hamburgers, hot dogs and homemade baked goods will be for sale. The Chocolate Carousel, a festival tradition thanks to the Catholic Women’s Association who put it together each year, will include bite-sized chocolate treats.

While enjoying the festivities, a chance to give back to the community through a blood drive will be available throughout the day. The blood drive is another annual tradition of the festival and will be sponsored by the St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus.

Friends of the Animal Shelter will also have pet adoptions at the festival.

The event will be held at the school’s campus located at 118 York St. S.E. on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission is free, although games, concessions and T-shirts will require tickets or cash.

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Amy Banton is the County reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the publication since May 2010.