The Town of Okotoks will soon be a sweets haven, attracting hot chocolate enthusiasts from all over.
The Hot Chocolate Festival is returning for its fifth year.
From February 7-17, 16 businesses throughout town will be making unique hot chocolates, special for the festival.
When the event started, it was contained to downtown Okotoks, but last year the festival expanded to businesses outside of downtown, and this year is no different.
"Most of the businesses that have signed up, are still downtown, but there are about four of them that are outside of the downtown area in Okotoks," explained the festival organizer Katie Fournell.
The four places outside of downtown that are participating in the Hot Chocolate Festival are Covet Sips + Sweets, The Bone and Biscuit, Red Rock Pizza, and PFP Fire Protection.
Don't worry, though, the hot chocolates at The Bone and Biscuit don't actually have chocolate in them and are dog-friendly.
So, what makes the hot chocolate at this festival so special?
"They have to be making the hot chocolate unique for the festival," explains Fournell. "It can't be a drink that they have available all the time. It's something that they've created specifically to compete in the festival. And that makes all of the drinks very unique."
For example, Hot Chocolate Festival newcomer French 50 will be creating a Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate.
"Also, we have Supper Studios, which is participating for the first time this year, and their hot chocolate is a Salted Caramel Cheesecake Hot Chocolate," says Fournell. "So, that one sounds really delicious as well."
Fournell says that the flavours at this year's festival will range from banana, toffee, to rose.
While the only cost to those who wish to partake in the festival is the actual cost of the hot chocolate, if you wish to rate the hot chocolates, you have to sign up and create an account on the festival's website.
"There's two prizes that the hot chocolates are going after. One is the Highest Rated Hot Chocolate," Fournell says. "Everybody who tries a hot chocolate can go on the website, and if they've made an account, they are able to rate the hot chocolate out of five stars."
Whichever hot chocolate gets the highest rating at the end of the festival gets crowned as the Highest Rated and will receive a prize.
"We also have Most Popular, and that's the hot chocolate that gets the most ratings during the event," says Fournell.
There are also prizes for the participants.
Every time that you rate a hot chocolate, your name gets put into a draw, where you can win one of three $25 gift cards to the two winning businesses.
Click here to see an interactive map of the hot chocolate locations, as well as what types of drinks will be at each location.
"It will also be where you rate the hot chocolates once the competition actually opens on the 7th. You can go in there and the five stars will just appear at the bottom of each drink," says Fournell. "So, you click on the one you're trying, you rate it, and it will save your rating automatically,"
The hot chocolate will be available during normal business hours.
To see the full list of businesses participating, and what types of hot chocolate they will be selling can be found on the festival's website.