16th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival on Sept. 10-11

Ghirardelli Square is pleased to host the 16th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10-11, 2011.

Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit San Francisco-based nonprofit organization Project Open Hand.

Experience a weekend of chocolate indulgence at Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival’s 16th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival.  “Sweet Sixteen” celebration benefits Project Open Hand.



The historic Bay Area landmark destination invites guests for a weekend showcasing chocolate from local and regional chocolatiers. 

To celebrate its “Sweet Sixteen,” the Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival and Cadillac have partnered to offer exciting interactive events including chef demonstrations at the Cadillac Culinary Center, live entertainment, and activities for the entire family, including daily ice cream sundae eating contests, and a Cadillac “Ride & Drive” event where guests have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of Cadillac’s newest line of vehicles.

Proceeds from ticket sales to the Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival will benefit Project Open Hand, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization.  Project Open Hand was established more than 25 years ago and provides meals for people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as senior citizens and homebound critically ill persons. 

For the past 15 years, the Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival has underscored its commitment to the community by supporting Project Open Hand via donations with more than $60,000 donated just last year.

“Ghirardelli Square has a long-standing relationship with Bay Area charities and is committed to helping causes such as Project Open Hand through popular annual events like the Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival,” said Jane Echlin, general manager of Ghirardelli Square.  “This year Ghirardelli Square is excited to share this fantastic event with the community, while showcasing the revitalized square with its array of first-class shops and restaurants.”

The 16th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10-11 from noon to 5 p.m. throughout the square’s courtyards and extend onto Beach Street, adjacent to Aquatic Park. 

Steeped in the history of San Francisco, Ghirardelli Square dates back to the mid-1800s, when it served as the original site of the Ghirardelli family’s chocolate, cocoa, mustard and box factories.

Today, it is a popular destination for San Francisco visitors and Bay Area residents, offering shopping, waterfront dining near Fisherman’s Wharf, art galleries, family events, walking tours, and more.

Attendees at the festival’s “Sweet Sixteen” celebration will enjoy an incredible lineup of events and activities including:

–   Chocolate samplings from more than 40 local and regional purveyors

–   Live cooking demonstrations at the Cadillac Culinary Center by Bay Area chefs and chocolatiers, including: Steve Genzoli of Ghirardelli Chocolate Company’s “Chocolate School;” Scott Broccoli, chef and owner of The Pub; and Kara Lind, owner of Kara’s Cupcakes

–   Daily ice cream sundae eating contests hosted by Ghirardelli Chocolate Company for adults and children featuring the famous Earthquake Sundae

–   Live musical performances

–   Cadillac’s “Ride & Drive” event hosted on Polk Street, where guests have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of Cadillac’s newest line of vehicles

–   Chocolate and Tea Tastings on the terraces of Crown & Crumpet

–   Exclusive specials for festival guests at the square’s retail stores and restaurants

For guests looking to continue their Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival experience, The Fairmont Heritage Place at Ghirardelli Square is now offering a special Ghirardelli Chocolate & Wine Package where guests can enjoy the sweet delights of Ghirardelli chocolate and the sophisticated pleasures of wine country. 

For more information please visit: www.fairmont.com/ghirardelli.

For more information regarding the 16th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival, please visit: www.ghirardellisq.com or call 415.775.5500.  To purchase tickets directly, please visit: www.ghirardellisquarechocolatefestival2011.eventbrite.com.

One of the first successful mixed-use redevelopment projects in the United States, Ghirardelli Square has been a San Francisco landmark for more than 100 years.  To ensure its preservation, Ghirardelli Square was granted National Historic Register status in 1982.  Ghirardelli Square is located at 900 North Point Street, in San Francisco, California, at the corner of Beach and Larkin Streets. 

For more information about Ghirardelli Square, visit www.Ghirardellisq.com