MINNEOTA - The American Legion hall in Minneota was crowded on Saturday night, both with area residents and a staggering variety of sweet treats laid out on buffet tables for the annual Chocolate Affair. Visitors said it was just the right combination of good food, good music and fun that brought them to the event.
"This is our Valentine's present," said Art and Muriel Cadwell. The Cadwells said they had been attending the event for three or four years now. It was good to get the chance to have dinner and dessert, and then go dancing, they said. "They treat us to everything," Art Cadwell said.
Between the chocolate goodies and getting to check out some of the silent auction items, young Shae Johnson said she was having fun.
Photo by Deb Gau
A chocolate fountain was one of the more popular centerpieces at Saturday night’s Chocolate Affair in Minneota. More than 200 people, including Ruth Quist, came to enjoy the music and sample some treats.
"I thought the chocolate was very yummy," Johnson said - too good to pick a favorite.
Organizers said this year's Chocolate Affair event was one of the strongest yet, with more than 200 people attending.
The turnout would be a help for the Friends of the Minneota Library's efforts to build a new home for the library.
Efforts to restore the historic O.G. Anderson Big Store in Minneota as a library have been going on for several years.
So far, the Friends have been able to restore the building's basement and install new electrical wiring and an HVAC system.
Proceeds from Saturday's event would help with the next steps in the process, including energy audits. The Friends are also working to restore the pressed-tin ceilings in the store through a grant from the Minnesota Historical Society.
Many of the people attending the Chocolate Affair on Saturday said they were there for the music as much as for the desserts.
Members of the Route 68 Big Band played jazz and swing standards, and even a little polka.
"We love the band," said Britta Kelseybassett. She said she and her husband David had heard Route 68 play in Tracy last year, and were excited to attend - and do some swing dancing at - another of their performances.
Ron and Lois Bassett of Minneota were also among the couples on the dance floor. Ron Bassett said dancing is one of his hobbies, and the Chocolate Affair was a great local event to have some fun at.
"This is the classiest thing they have in Minneota. A lot of work was put into it," Bassett said.
Through the celebrations, volunteers from the Minneota chapter of the National Honor Society were constantly on the move, restocking tables with chocolate treats and trying hard to resist the temptation of the chocolate fountain.
Volunteers like Keyla Salazar and Brenton Schultz said they'd still get their chance to enjoy the chocolate, however.
"After everyone's done, we can have some," Salazar said.