Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival Celebrates Its Sweet 16

One of San Francisco’s sweetest traditions returns to the waterfront this weekend: the 16th Annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10 and 11, from noon to 5 p.m.

More than 40 local and regional chocolate makers will dish out their delicious creations during the two day affair, which also includes ice cream sundae eating contests, kids’ crafts and an exclusive Cadillac display. The Crown & Crumpet Tea Salon will serve a special menu of chocolate teas (make reservations at 415-771-4252) throughout the weekend.

Saturday’s line-up also includes chef demonstrations by Steve Genzoli of Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, the Fairmont Hotel’s Stephen Sullivan and Scott Broccoli from The Pub at Ghirardelli Square. Ian Ross will head up a painting demonstration at noon, and a battle of the bands presentation kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Live music from Gabriel Navia, Marco Alejandro and Owen Plant is scheduled throughout the day.

On Sunday, Genzoli, Kara Lind from Kara’s Cupcakes and Ranjan and Sarah Dey of New Delhi Restaurant will show off their kitchen skills. Kippy Marks and The Unauthorized Rolling Stones are set to perform, as well.

Ticket proceeds benefit San Francisco’s Project Open Hand, a nonprofit that offers meal services for senior citizens, the critically ill and those living with HIV/AIDS.

A $20 ticket includes 15 samples; a $50 VIP ticket lets guests skip lines and savor special sweets and wines between 12 and 4 p.m. on Saturday.

To view a full event schedule and purchase tickets, visit