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Sweeten Up Your Weekend at the Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival

As a bonafide chocolate connoisseur (hey, I'm only female), it's no surprise that the first event that gets jotted down--in pen--in my planner each new calendar year is the annual Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival.

In its 14th year, this smorgasbord for the tastebuds kicks off Saturday afternoon with chef demonstrations, chocolate and wine pairings, and, most importantly, tastings galore. The magnum opus of the event, however, is the Ice Cream Sundae Eating Contest at 2pm both days: with earthquakes (adults) up on Saturday, and children allowed both days.

But Ghirardelli chocolate will not be the only sweetie front and center this weekend. Other vendors include Kara's Cupcakes, Gelateria Naia, Napa Valley Fudge Company, Crown & Crumpet Tea Salon, Mary Louise Butter Brownies and many, many more.

Admission is free, but chocolate is not. You can purchase 15 tastings for $20 online in advance and pick up your tickets at will-call. The event runs from noon to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Heed our advice: Save your appetite and get thee to Ghirardelli Square this weekend. Besides, it's the only time of year you can actually justify a jaunt to Fisherman's Wharf, so what are you waiting for?