On Saturday, Feb. 11, Perry hosted its 14th annual Chocolate Walk in celebration of Valentines Day.

The Chocolate Walk allows businesses to open their doors to the Perry community and offer customers chocolate-themed products. Attendees were able to purchase tickets containing the participating stores and encouraged to have each “heart” marked off along the way. Once each of the twenty-one stops are completed, visitors were able to drop their ticket off into a drawing at the Hotel Pattee. The winner of the drawing will be announced later this week and will receive a one-night’s stay at the Hotel Pattee.

“The weather was beautiful, so just like anything, that helps in the event,” Bob Wilson, the Executive Director of the Perry Chamber said.

Wilson believes the crowd has stayed fairly consistent from previous years, marking around 150 in attendance.

The social event allowed for town-networking, either by popping in for a chocolate-themed treat or getting the opportunity to become familiar with a new business.

“What we really encourage people to do is give incentives, give people a reason to come back,” Wilson said. “These events get customers to your door and what happens there is the private sector.”

Many chocolate treats were offered, ranging from a unique “chocolate gravy” created by Jenny Eklund of the Perry Optimist Club to a variety of cupcakes and treats from other fellow businesses.

Perry Paint & Design owners Larry Moore and Aaron Stammer enjoyed giving away cupcakes at their store. They offered three unique flavors, but their most popular item was the “Chocolate-Bourbon-Pecan” cupcake. Their cupcakes were created by Angela Huffman and Helen Ayers of Ah Ha Cupcakes & Bakery. Besides offering a chocolate spin to their store, both owners believe the event was successful for the community.

“You meet a lot of people and it gives them a chance to come into your store and check it out,” Stammer said. “And eat some nice treats too.”

Many businesses have jumped on board the Valentines celebration, expanding the event from downtown Perry to Hy-Vee and Spring Valley Assisted Living on Highway 141, as well as the Picket Fence Creamery and Flowers by Donna Jean in Woodward.

“The whole idea is just to get people out and about and really experience our retail shops and all of the amenities Perry has to offer,” Bob Wilson, the Executive Director of the Perry Chamber said.

The event was held on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.