SAN FRANCISCO—The 20th Annual Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival will take place Saturday, September 12 and Sunday, September 13 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Ghirardelli Square.

Although pre-sale tickets are no longer offered, tickets will still be sold at the door on both days.

For $25, participants can send their taste buds on a blissful, cacao-covered journey with 15 gourmet chocolate tastings at various booths of their choice.

For $60, participants can complement those sweet samples with 12 premium wine tastings in the Chocolate & Wine Pavilion, in addition to receiving a souvenir wine glass. Purchasers of this ticket must be 21 years of age or older.

With admission, attendees can join “Chocolate Professor” Steve Genzoli as he teaches Chocolate School, an instructional presentation detailing the chocolate making process. Or visit the Culinary Stage, in which local professional chefs demonstrate their expertise on all desserts and dishes.  Other activities include ice cream eating contests and chocolate vendors.

Chocolate vendors will also be present so that you can take home some treats.
Chocolate vendors will also be present so that you can take home some treats.

One hundred percent of the profits will be donated to Project Open Hand, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco that provides meals and nutrition to seniors and the critically ill.  Since its inception 30 years ago, the organization has grown and expanded to provide 2,500 nutritious meals and provide 200 bags of healthy groceries each day to nourish people in need throughout San Francisco and Alameda Counties.

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In 1985, San Francisco grandmother and retired food-service worker Ruth Brinker saw her friends and neighbors suffering from malnutrition. She took to cooking meals for them in her kitchen and soon became well-known throughout the neighborhood. More meal requests came in; she enlisted the help of volunteers and the growth of her organization has been exponential ever since.  Today, Project Open Hand has over 125 volunteers on a daily basis at both their Oakland and San Francisco locations. They aim to help elderly individuals fighting all serious illnesses, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more.

How could you resist?

A donation to Project Open Hand by visiting or sign up to be a volunteer at Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival began in 1996 and has extended down to Beach Street, the Plaza in the Ghirardelli Square and occupies an entire block. Last year, over 31,000 people consumed over 759 lbs of chocolate and raised over $50,000.  For more information about the festival or to view the event schedule, click here.