Chocolate City, USA

A Road Trip to Burlington, Wisconsin Yields Many Tasty Treats

by Claire Miller, age 18

In a recent readers’ poll conducted at www.simpsonstreetfreepress.org our loyal audience decided they wanted us to visit a chocolate museum. So, we awoke bright and early one morning to begin our two-hour journey to the Chocolate Experience Museum in “Chocolate City, USA”: Burlington, Wisconsin.

On East Chestnut Street, near the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce, lies the Chocolate Museum. It is a humble building always kept at a nice cool temperature. We were greeted by the very subtle scent of milk chocolate. There we learned about the history of the city, its chocolate festival, and the Nestlé Corporation.

The museum was generously decorated with Nestlé paraphernalia. Old-fashioned candy from around the world, scrumptious sculptures that, unfortunately, were no longer edible, and framed front pages from the local newspaper covering the chocolate festival over the years.

They have been making chocolate at this factory for more than 40 years. It still remains one of Burlington’s largest employers. In honor of this, a chocolate festival was started in 1986. It has been celebrated every Memorial Day weekend since then.

As part of the festival, a theme is chosen every year and a chocolate sculpture to embody it is created. At the end of every year’s festivities, the museum collects some of the pieces. To keep these creations from melting, they are coated in clear shellac. This essentially preserves the chocolate forever, but also makes it inedible. But don’t worry chocolate fans! There are plenty of tasty treats to sample at this museum. And plenty of interesting and whimsical things to see.

Among the chocolate sculptures held within the museum are two six-foot tall knights. That’s right, two six-foot tall chocolate sculptures. We also viewed one of the many solid chocolate carousel horses, acquired from a working carousel at last year’s festival. We also saw a grand aquatic display of fish, that were bejeweled with colorful Nestle candies, and a miniature teaparty display befitting a theme from Lewis Carroll’s classic book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

During our tour, we were introduced to Farfel: the very large, googly-eyed animatronic dog, formerly Nestlé’s number one mascot. Farfel sat atop a large doghouse that had Nestle candy spilling out from its entrance. Strangely enough, Farfel taught us quite a bit about how Burlington came to be known as “Chocolate City, USA.” Farfel was donated to the Burlington Chocolate Museum from the Nestlé factory in Glendale, California. It was in 1973 that the Nesquik Bunny we know today replaced Farfel as the company’s mascot.

Unfortunately, the Nestlé plant in Burlington has stopped doing tours, but the Chocolate Experience Museum is open daily. For more information on this sweet haven of information, go to www.burlingtonchamber.org or search Chocolate City, USA.

We enjoyed our trip and found this museum unique. The trip did very well in our readers’ poll as well. And it seemed, for some reason, that many of the younger Free Press reporters wanted this assignment. So we brought back an assortment of chocolate treats.


This sounds so awesome! Definitely a place that I would want to go to on an adventure. – SpenserVerona (2011-05-26 19:17)
Comment's author: amax04/02/07 05:36:00 AM逛博物館很棒的
我這輩子逛過的博物館不多 上次去是渡蜜月時 在東京上野公園旁邊逛
了其中一小部份 亞洲館 逛了一個半小時 因為老婆肚子餓沒有讓她
立刻可以吃好料的午餐 那次她非常不爽我看那些莫名其妙的東西

如果宅男的一個常見症狀是不容易交到女朋友
或許當宅男也不錯
在這個最幸福的時代 我也很想有那種幸福可以好好欣賞一下那些人類偉
大的文化遺產
我其實很不想在所剩無幾的自由時間裡 一直不情願地做著厭煩的事情
者終於可以做點自己喜歡的事的時候 卻常常要懷著嚴重的罪惡感

禎祥 你還是做好人比較好... 這才是最幸福的時代 – ParkComment's author: amax04/02/07 05:36:00 AM逛博物館很棒的
我這輩子逛過的博物館不多 上次去是渡蜜月時 在東京上野公園旁邊逛
了其中一小部份 亞洲館 逛了一個半小時 因為老婆肚子餓沒有讓她
立刻可以吃好料的午餐 那次她非常不爽我看那些莫名其妙的東西

如果宅男的一個常見症狀是不容易交到女朋友
或許當宅男也不錯
在這個最幸福的時代 我也很想有那種幸福可以好好欣賞一下那些人類偉
大的文化遺產
我其實很不想在所剩無幾的自由時間裡 一直不情願地做著厭煩的事情
者終於可以做點自己喜歡的事的時候 卻常常要懷著嚴重的罪惡感

禎祥 你還是做好人比較好... 這才是最幸福的時代
 (2015-11-27 22:54)
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