The visitor’s bureau Discover Kodiak and the Kodiak Maritime Museum are bringing back their Chocolate Lover’s Fling and Art Auction. The annual event has chocolatiers and art enthusiasts gather to taste some of the best cocoa confections around, as well as bid on pieces donated by local artists. It was canceled during the pandemic and this year, money raised will go towards a new sign for the St. Paul Harbor downtown. The previous blue sign was carved wood near the boat launch.
“I love the places where people can come take pictures and being in tourism, I can’t help but look at other destinations and see what they’re doing and what signs they have as you’re driving in and out of town, and Kodiak really doesn’t have a great big ‘Hey, you’re in Kodiak!’ sign,” said Aimee Williams, the executive director of Discover Kodiak.
The visitor center plans to create a beautiful area where tourists can take pictures and share their memories of visiting the island.
“My goal is to make that one Instagram location where all visitors come to town want to stop and get their picture taken that says Kodiak and has the beautiful harbor behind it and has a little bit of history on the sign,” she said.
Williams said the new sign is part of a bigger effort to revitalize downtown.
“Discover Kodiak kind of operates on a theory that we try to do things for locals and then the tourists will come,” she said. “So we want downtown to be somewhere that people who live here can celebrate and have events.”
To make the event a success, Williams says they’ll need the help of local artists to donate pieces.
“We’re looking for finished art pieces that someone could buy and just go home and hang on their wall,” the executive director said. “In the past we’ve had seaglass, sculptures, quilts, jewelry, things people knitted, fur things, just a wide variety of items – it can be art in any form or fashion.”
Artists who choose to donate also have a shot at getting a bit of cash too – 30% of the winning bid goes back to the person who donated. The other 70% goes towards the new sign.
As for the community’s chocolatiers, Discover Kodiak has five categories to enter: baked goods, dipped items, candy, beverages, and spirits.
“Chocolatiers literally just means anyone who wants to make something out of chocolate, so it sounds fancy, but it can be anyone,” she said. “The rules are that you have to make a minimum of five dozen, which is 60, bite-sized samples to be sampled at the event.”
Chocolatiers can win cookware for each category or cash prizes up to $500.
The Chocolate Lovers Fling and Art Auction is in the Afognak Center on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. Art donations need to be brought to Discover Kodiak by Friday, Feb. 3 at 4 p.m., and more information can be found on Discover Kodiak’s website.
And this year’s theme is disco, so Williams advises folks bring their best threads and best vibes.