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Lovers of chocolate and dancing will want to visit Ste. Genevieve
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Lovers of chocolate and dancing will want to visit Ste. Genevieve

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Anyone who loves chocolate and shopping will be interested in the Chocolate Walk on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in historic downtown Ste. Genevieve. The event is sponsored by the Ste. Genevieve Downtown Renewal Project. 

“If you love shopping and chocolate, this event is perfect for you,” said Sandra Cabot, director of Ste. Genevieve Tourism.

Chocolate lovers simply follow the balloons to find participating merchants to sample a luscious chocolate treat at each establishment while shopping Ste. Genevieve's unique downtown district.

Participants can then work off those extra calories at the Queen’s Ball held at the VFW Hall, located at 852 Memorial Dr., beginning at 7 p.m.

“It’s held every year,” said Cabot, “always the first Saturday in February. It’s an evening of traditional French dancing … It’s called the King’s Ball, but actually every leap year it’s a Queen’s Ball. Instead of a gentleman finding the baby in the cake and picking a queen, the woman who finds the baby is crowned queen and gets to pick her king.”

All ladies present will be treated to piece of La Galette des Reine (Queen’s Cake) and the lucky lady who finds a special baby charm in her piece will be crowned Queen of the Ball. The queen will select her king and together they reign over Ste. Genevieve festivities throughout the year.

Special attendants will also be selected to assist the queen and king. In recent years, the honorary titles of La Dame or Le Chevalier of Ste. Genevieve have been awarded to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the local community.

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The King's Ball is another of Ste. Genevieve's old French settlers’ traditions that has been celebrated annually for more than 250 years. Attendees are encouraged but not required to dress in French Colonial attire and participate in the traditional music and dance.

“Come learn to promenade and do the broom dance while a live band plays traditional French dance songs and calls out the instructions in English so all can learn,” Cabot said.

The musical group, “Cash Rebates,” will provide music and instructions in the traditional dance.

“The AAA Midwest Traveler Magazine chose the Ste. Genevieve Queen’s Ball as a ‘Midwest Travel Treasure,’” Cabot said, which was featured in the magazine’s January edition.

Tables for eight to 10 persons may be reserved. Guests are welcome to bring snacks for their enjoyment and there will be a cash bar available for refreshments. 

Doors to the ball will open at 7 p.m. with singing of traditional French songs by “Les Petits Chanteurs.” Guests may be formally introduced beginning at 7:30 p.m. and the music and dancing will begin at 8 p.m.

Admission to the Queen’s Ball is $10 for adults and $5 for children and students. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Proceeds from the event will benefit the non-profit Ste. Genevieve Museum.

For more information or to make table reservations, call 573-883-5850 or 573-883-2099 in the evening or email queensball@historicstegen.org

Tickets for the Chocolate Walk are $10 per person and can be purchased the day of the event at the Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center located at 66 S. Main St. Everyone must have a ticket to sample the chocolates. For more information, visit visitstegen.com or call 800-373-7007 or 573-883-7097.

Amy Patterson is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3616 or apatterson@dailyjournalonline.com.

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