Chocolate Extravaganza, turkey bowling planned for Hayden

— When Hayden restaurateur Charlie Epp tells people he is dishing up Charlie’s Chocolate Chili, the response is usually a laugh with a tone of disbelief.

“I get that reaction all the time,” said Epp, who will serve samples of the unique treat during the town’s Chocolate Extravaganza from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday.

Businesses participating in Hayden's Chocolate Extravaganza

• Hiway Bar & Grill

• Wolf Mountain Pizza

• We B Smokin’ BBQ

• Axial Arts Architecture

• Wild Goose Coffee

• Thistle Dew Salon

• Bella Capelli hair salon

• A-1 Liquor

• Hayden Mat & Frame

• Mile High Movies

• Midway Marketplace

• Chakra Healing Spa

• Bear River Realty: Jack Giessinger

• H Town Underground Fitness

• Louise J. Batt, High Country Veterinarian

• Colorado Group Realty: Amy Williams and Vonnie Frentress

• Hayden Mercantile

Epp’s Wolf Mountain Pizza restaurant will be one of 17 Hayden businesses offering free chocolate-themed treats on Valentine's Day.

“I think it will be a great day for a Valentine’s Day stroll type of thing,” Epp said. “Hopefully, it will bring people out.”

Epp makes his beef and pork chili with cocoa powder and citrus flavors.

“It’s definitely not a Hershey bar chocolate,” Epp said.

It is a recipe that has evolved during the past five or six years, and he said it has taken first place at a couple of chili competitions.

Other treats planned include fudge at the Hiway Bar & Grill and chocolate mousse at Wild Goose Coffee. Owner Tammie Delaney said she still has to find her mother’s mousse recipe, but she described it as a decadent dessert containing lots of butter and a dollop of whipped cream.

“Mom had one heck of a chocolate mousse recipe,” Delaney said.

Organizers hope the Chocolate Extravaganza will become an annual event. Hayden Economic Development Commission member Wendy Lind said it will be a good opportunity for several new Hayden businesses to meet community members.

“It’s been really well received,” Lind said. “Almost every business here in town is going to participate.”

Ryan Wattles will have his draft horse team hitched up and will give sleigh rides to the participating businesses.

Hayden is hosting another new event Saturday in front of Wild Goose Coffee. The Atomic Turkey Bowling Extravaganza is a fundraiser for the art program at Hayden Valley Elementary School.

There will be adult and kids divisions. Adults will bowl with a turkey, and the kids will use something lighter, such as a cornish game hen.

Participants can come bowl any time between 2 and 5 p.m. The cost is $5. Proceeds will be split between the winners and the school’s art program. Winners also will receive trophies mounted with a stuffed turkey.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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