Coming Soon: Chocolate After Dark!

When you think of chocolate, what comes to mind? Most people, when asked that question, think of decadent desserts like chocolate mousse or chocolate cake or brownies – the list of delicious desserts featuring chocolate goes on and on. Chocolate has been a traditional favorite of people the world over for millennia. We presented an entire exhibition talking about everything chocolate in the Museum in 2012 titled: Chocolate: the Exhibition. But does bacon come to mind? How about potato chips? Since 2012, Chocolate After Dark: A Wine and Chocolate Experience has been Turtle Bay’s valentine to all things chocolate – both sweet and savory!

Love chocolate

This year’s Chocolate After Dark will be held on February 2, 2017 in the Turtle Bay Museum. Tickets are on sale now for this 21 and over event and can be purchased online or at the Museum for $35 each. This wine and chocolate tasting event is a fundraiser for Turtle Bay and features local restaurants and area wineries providing tastes of wine, adult beverages and sweet and savory chocolate items for our guests to enjoy. Thanks to Win-River Resort and Casino and Anderson’s Fine Jewelry, we are also featuring a raffle during the evening with two prizes: a stocked wine refrigerator and a 14kt gold and sterling silver diamond bracelet. Tickets for the raffle will be on sale during the evening and you must be present to win.

Win-River raffleIn previous years, Chocolate After Dark has offered tastes highlighting exotic combinations such as chocolate-dipped prawns with oven toasted coconut on a coconut infused white chocolate sauce, or slow roasted pork tenderloin – with a cocoa powder rub served with a red wine chocolate demi-glace along with a toasted crostini or even bacon wrapped sea scallops – with a white chocolate vanilla dipping sauce. This year’s chefs are still finalizing their tasty menus.

This year’s Chocolate After Dark will feature both sweet and savory tastes from some of Redding’s favorite restaurants and chocolatiers: Clearie’s Restaurant & Lounge, View 202, Cicada Cantina, Premiere Catering, Market Street Steakhouse, From the Hearth, Chocolat de Nanette and Sweetspot. Each will present their own favorite chocolate items for you to enjoy. Paired with wine from Moseley Family Cellars, Dakaro Cellars, Merlo Family Vineyards, Churn Creek Cellars, and Lassen Peak Winery, it’s sure to be an evening your taste buds will never forget. Come join the fun!


Chocolate bacon

Chocolate dipped bacon, anyone?

Purchase your tickets here before they sell out!

Special events at Turtle Bay

As a nonprofit, Turtle Bay relies on a variety of funding sources to help support our mission. One of the most fun ways to raise money is holding fundraisers, or as we call them: special events. All of the funds raised at our special events go toward supporting the educational programs and exhibitions at Turtle Bay.

Over the years, our special events have covered a wide variety of fun activities for guests of all ages, such as a wine and chocolate tasting, a live and silent auction, a Halloween-themed night of fun for the whole family, a golf tournament, harvest festival, art and craft fair, and more. Some events have stood the test of time and have been held annually for over 30 years, and others have been discontinued as trends come and go. Our newest special event is next week’s Brews by the Bridge. For Brews by the Bridge we’ve gathered together a mix of some of Redding’s favorite breweries, thrown in some live music, delicious food, and a beautiful setting to make what we hope will become an annual favorite. Brews by the Bridge will be held in the McConnell Arboretum’s Quarry Patio on Friday June 24th from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets are available now online and at the Museum.

Golf for Green
Players enjoying a beautiful day on the golf course at Golf for Green 2013

When planning a new special event we take into account a variety of factors: one of the most important being what I like to call the “fun factor.” Does this sound like fun? Will it encourage a wide variety of people to attend? Will it appeal to individuals who aren’t members and might not visit our campus otherwise? As the Special Event Coordinator, these are the questions I ask every time we begin planning a new event. Other important factors to consider are manpower issues and cost. How much people-power is needed to hold the event? Are there partners who could help make it possible? And most importantly, can the event be held with a minimum of expense? The special event volunteers who work with me on our annual live and silent auction – Jeans, Jewels & Jazz — like to refer to me as the “budget police” because my first thoughts for any new idea are always “how much will this cost?” No matter what type of event, we aim to be good stewards of our resources!

Members of Turtle Bay’s staff at Spooktoberfest

Another factor to consider is the space where the event will be held. By its very size, the venue for any event will dictate the number of patrons who can attend. Our Museum, the site of our annual event Chocolate After Dark, a wine and chocolate tasting, can accommodate a maximum of 500 people. When you add up the number of people working to serve the wine and food to the guests, the number of total guests that can attend is reduced to 450 people. For an event like Spooktoberfest, our annual Halloween-themed outdoor event held last year in the McConnell Arboretum, we hosted over 950 people with room for more.

Guests at Auction 2015 Jeans, Jewels & Jazz: Under the Bigtop

The “feel” of the event is also important. Is this a casual event or something a little more glamorous? In other words, do you need to get dressed up or can you just wear your shorts and a tee shirt? It may sound a little silly, but people really do care about wearing the right attire. For Spooktoberfest we encourage the volunteers and guests to wear Halloween costumes. For Jeans, Jewels & Jazz, we encourage our guests to dress in their best jeans and add in a little bling.

The final point that we take into account is originality. Is the event something someone else is doing? Can we add something to the event to make it unique? For Spooktoberfest, we include a mini animal show, which has proven to be extremely popular. Other organizations may hold Halloween-themed events, but we are fortunate to have popular animal celebrities like Cricket, our barn owl or Spike, our North American porcupine.

Featuring beers from two of our favorite local breweries – Wildcard Brewing Co. and Fall River Brewing Company — as well as from regional favorites Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Lost Coast Brewery, and Mad River Brewing Company, Brews by the Bridge is sure to have something every beer lover will enjoy. Combined with music from the up-and-coming local band Gringo and delicious food from C.R. Gibbs American Grille, Subarama and pizza by the slice from Angelo’s Pizza Parlor, the evening promises to offer something to appeal to almost everyone. The beauty of the outdoor setting – the Quarry Patio with its amazing view of the Sundial Bridge as the sun goes down – guarantees the evening will be a night to remember. So why not grab your friends, a couple of lawn chairs and come join us?


To purchase tickets to Brews by the Bridge stop by the Museum or go to: