WEST OCEAN CITY – The 10th Annual Death by Chocolate event is returning to West Ocean City stores this weekend for a day of sweet treats, games and prizes.
“The event was designed to create awareness as to who your local merchants are,” CraZy LadyZ! co-owner Jan Patterson said.
At the beginning of the day, participants can pick up a game card from any of the participating businesses and collect clues from each of the stores until the card is complete. At the same time, merchants that day will be serving up chocolate to visitors.
This year’s theme, “Crazy Clue,” will take participants through each store, where they will search for evidence and eliminate suspects until they determine the criminal, weapon and location.
Patterson said the annual event draws a larger crowd each year and encourages both visitors and locals alike to go into surrounding stores they don’t usually frequent.
For example, she said many people without pets don’t go into Pet Threadz, but by playing the game participants can familiarize themselves with businesses such as these.
The event has grown in the past 10 years from 150 participants to 600, according to Patterson. She said the wintertime lull after the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day give individuals the opportunity to partake in the event.
“A lot come down in the dead of winter for this,” Patterson said. “Then in the summer, people come back and say they couldn’t wait to return.”
The annual event is a valuable marketing tool for participating merchants, according to Patterson.
“Every year more and more people are moving to the area,” she said. “Word of mouth is the most valuable advertising you can have as a store.”
All merchants will open their stores – CraZy LadyZ!, Pet Threadz, Monkey’s Trunk, Kendall Furniture, OC Floor Gallery, Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, IMPACT Home Technology, OC Organics, Coastal Coffee Roasting, Bungalow 7, Wockenfuss, Park Place Jewelers and Snap Dragon – from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 25 and will validate game cards as participants move from location to location.
Individuals can drop off their game card to the last store they visit or to Sunset Grille by 6 p.m., where participants have a chance to win one of 14 giveaways from the restaurant and stores, according to Patterson. Sunset Grille will also offer food and drink specials to accompany the Death by Chocolate event.
The winners of the drawing will be announced at Sunset Grille at 7 p.m. Participants do not have to be present to win, but Patterson said individuals must be ages 18 and older to enter.
The prizes range from gift certificates and baskets to an Apple TV Gen4.
She added that those wishing to eat at Sunset Grille following the game can make reservations under Death by Chocolate and be offered a dinner special of buy one entrée and appetizer and get second entrée fee after 4 p.m. Drink specials start at 1 p.m.
“It’s a really fun day,” Patterson said. “It’s a day for people to meet each other too.”
For more information on this event, contact CraZy LadyZ! at 410-213-2085.