(Feb. 21, 2020) Participants will have the opportunity to sample an assortment of chocolate treats during the 13th annual “Death by Chocolate” game taking place at 17 West Ocean City businesses, Saturday, Feb. 22.
Players who are 18 and older are encouraged to find specific items, then get their game cards validated inside each store. The game is free to play.
“It was created 13 years ago as a means of getting to know who your local merchants are,” Jan Patterson, organizer Death by Chocolate and co-owner of CraZy LadyZ store, said. “For instance, if you didn’t need flooring, you would never even go into OC Floor Gallery. But once you go in [there], you realize, ‘Oh, my gosh, I didn’t realize they did tile.’”
A complimentary chocolate treat will be provided by each merchant and players who finish the game will have a chance to win a prize, ranging from gift certificates to wireless headphones, a free eye exam or a family movie night package.
A majority of the businesses have participated in Death by Chocolate since its inception, but there are some new stores joining in the fun this year.
To play Death by Chocolate, pick up a game card at any of the 17 participating stores, not including Sunset Grille or Carrabba’s Italian Grill. To be eligible for prizes, players must visit all of the merchants, in any order, and find the item asked for, while indulging in complimentary chocolate.
Game cards must be validated by a representative from each store before going on to the next one.
This year’s theme is “If You Build It, They Will Come,” where participants will have to hunt down various tools or items required for construction in each store, like a hammer or concrete mix.
There will be three tools missing from the list, and by the time the hunt is completed, the person should be able to identify the missing items.
“We’ve got things like a caulking gun in a store, so they’re really going to have to hunt,” Patterson said. “Each store will have one tool, and what they do is once they identify the tool, they cross it off the game card and they get their card validated by the merchant and figure out the clues in order to enter into the drawing.”
The stores will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Participants must bring their completed cards to Sunset Grille, on Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City, by 6 p.m. for a chance to win prizes.
Everyone who turns in a completed card has a chance to win one of the 19 prizes offered by the participating businesses at Sunset Grille’s 7 p.m. drawing. Players do not need to be present to win.
Sunset Grille will host a huge post-game party, with drink specials include $4 house wine, $3 domestic beer, $5 orange crushes and $5 chocolate martinis.
In addition, buy one entrée and appetizer, get a second entrée free from 4-7 p.m. To get this dinner deal, participants must make a reservation under “Death by Chocolate.”
Carrabba’s Italian Grill will also offer lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and players will receive a 20 percent discount if they present their game card.
The event has grown annually, with 40 people participating the first year and about 600 playing last year.
“We’ve been getting phone calls since November about the date,” Patterson said. “When it started 13 years ago, I went to the merchants and they all thought I was crazy. We did it on a Sunday in the dead of winter, of course, and we had 40 people come through our doors. In the dead of winter for local merchants, that’s a lot. Each year it has grown.”
Death by Chocolate starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday and continues until 5 p.m., followed by a celebration at Sunset Grille.
“It’s a day of camaraderie … It’s a day where people meet other people,” Patterson said. “You get to meet the owners of many, if not all, of these businesses. We as merchants have the opportunity to not only meet new people, but new people get to see who we are.”
Call 410-213-8110 to make dinner reservations at Sunset Grille. For more information about the game, call CraZy LadyZ! at 410-213-2085.
CraZy LadyZ! – $50 gift certificate
Monkey’s Trunk – $50 gift certificate
OC Floor Gallery – $100 gift certificate and 5x7 area rug
OC Chamber of Commerce – Beach tote with OC swag and signed Bunk Mann book ($125 value)
IMPACT Home Technology – Sony Wireless headphones ($99 value)
OC Organics – gift basket ($100 value)
Coastal Coffee Roasting – gift basket ($50 value)
Wockenfuss – $50 gift certificate
Park Place Jewelers – $50 gift certificate
Ocean Elements Salt Spa & Float Center – Full pamper package ($129 value, includes lunch)
Bomshell Boutique – $25 gift certificate
Blushing Beauty Boutique – beach bag and matching hat
Sunset Grille – $50 gift certificate
Dolle’s Candyland – $25 gift certificate and bag of treats
Sandal’s Bridal and Formal Wear – $50 gift certificate
Carrabba’s Italian Grill – Dinner for two and bottle of wine
Monogram Furniture – $200 gift certificate
An Optical Galleria – Free eye exam and $300 gift certificate