There are food festivals in New Jersey, and then there are food festivals. And if you take into account that chocolate is one of the favorite foods of so many of us in this country, there’s nothing more exciting than a chocolate festival.

So If you’re a chocolate lover, and you’re trying to think of what to do this weekend, it’s a no-brainer: The Chocolate Expo.

The Chocolate Expo is one of the largest consumer-oriented chocolate events in the United States based on the number of participating vendors, the number of attendees and the sheer floor size of the venues it takes place.

There are usually dozens of vendors who offered tastings and sales of their products.

The Chocolate Expo / Facebook
The Chocolate Expo / Facebook

And this is no Nestlé’s Crunch, Milky Way, or Hershey’s type of offering. The Chocolate Expo caters to bona fide foodies who appreciate good, gourmet, artisanal, creative chocolate.

At the Chocolate Expo, you’ll be offered small tasting-sized portions of products, which are to be consumed right away.

They want you to think of the chocolate tastings in the way you might think of a wine tasting at a winery — you get a small sample to try and you often get to talk with the person who made the product.

If you like what you’ve tasted, you can purchase that product directly at the show for yourself or to give as gifts.

The Chocolate Expo / Facebook
The Chocolate Expo / Facebook

That’s why you'll find everything from artisanal chocolatiers, old-fashioned candy shops, bakeries, specialty food producers, wineries, distilleries, cideries and even some farms at the show.

And if you have special dietary considerations, there will be plenty of no-sugar-added, all-natural, organic, vegan, salt-free, gluten-free and/or kosher products there, too.

Many of these are small, regional companies that are very proud of what they do and want you, the chocolate lover to become familiar with them.

The Chocolate Expo / Facebook
The Chocolate Expo / Facebook

This year the Expo takes place on Sunday, November 13, 2022, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the NJ Expo Center in Edison

Tickets run from $10 for children to $20 for a two-hour adults admission, and there’s even a $40 VIP package for serious chocoholics which includes priority admission at any time during the day and includes one deluxe insulated Chocolate Expo tote bag.

Get all your questions answered here.

And you can buy tickets here.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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