Loralee Miller shows the wine glasses she decorated for the Chocolate Affair.Route 68 Big Band Director John Voit, was mimicked by his son Joe during the performance at the Chocolate Affair on Saturday at the American Legion. The Route 68 Band is always a big hit at the affair. Dawn Van Keulen played her trumpet. Gretta and Sue Buysse danced the night away. A fitting “heart” sweater was worn in the chocolate line. 
 Mike Sontag and others used the chocolate fountain.

Chocolate — and so much more!

Anytime you mix chocolate, music and good food together in one place, it's a recipe for success.
 
And the 11th annual Chocolate Affair hosted by the Minneota Friends of the Library on Saturday night was no different.
 
With over 160 tickets sold for the event, the Minneota American Legion was nearly filled to capacity.
 
The Route 68 band, directed by Minneota High School band director John Voit, again entertained the patrons throughout the evening's festivities. Also included in the evening festivities was a silent auction, a stuffed pork chop meal catered by Rusty's Corner Cafe of Taunton, wine tasting, and of course, lots of chocolate.
 
Several display tables features a myriad of chocolate treats appealing to both the eyes and taste buds. And a chocolate fountain in which fruit and pretzels could be coated was also a big hit.
 
The dining tables were elegantly decorated in a Valentine's Day theme that included color-changing candles and beautifully painted and decorated wine glasses.
 
Also on hand were Seth and Theresa Myhre to again showcase their dancing talents, entertaining those in attendance with their flips and spins on the dance floor. They have been attending the Chocolate Affair every year since its inception in 2008.
 
“We don't dance quite as much as we used to,” said Seth. “We might dance at a wedding or two each year. So we always look forward to coming (to the Chocolate Fair) to dance.”
 
The Chocolate Affair setting is perfect for the Myhres, whose romantic story of meeting each other through dance was told in the Mascot following last year's fund-raising event.
 
The silent auction also brought out a lot of generous bids from the numerous items on display that were donated by locals and surrounding community members and businesses.
 
All proceeds from the Chocolate Affair benefit the Minneota Public Library.
 
Inspiration through fermentation
 
The decorated dining tables were each adorned with stemmed wine glasses hand-painted by talented local artist Loralee Miller.
 
“Judy Hagen (of the Friends of the Library) saw something on the internet that had upside down and right-side up wine glasses that were painted,” said Miller. “So she passed it along to me.”
 
Miller obtained the wine glasses from the ONE MORE TIME Thrift Store in Minneota and the Dollar Tree in Marshall, as well as some that were donated to her.
 
“I painted some of them upside down and some of them right-side up,” she explained. “I used acrylic paint and some glitter paint. Some of them included silver curly ribbon tied on the bottom.”
 
In all, Miller painted 21 Valentine-themed wine glasses.
 
“Almost all of the glasses were different,” she said. “I think there were only a couple of them that I duplicated.”
 
The glasses featured designs such as small hearts with messages on them; similar to Conversation Hearts candy.  One glass was painted with strawberry blossoms that also featured strawberries.
 
Miller is well known in the community for her artistic abilities.
 
“I enjoy painting outdoor scenes, but I’ve painted just about everything,” said Miller.
 
And that now includes wine glasses.

Dennis Osmun enjoyed all the chocolates! Staff photo by Byron Higgin.

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