Dessert Wars, the largest sweets event in South Florida, returns this Saturday, January 21. Think of it as a pop-up version of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. From Sweet Melody ice cream to Happylicious cookie dough and Nummies baked goods, more than 30 vendors that specialize in all things sugary will compete at this third-annual festival.
This year's event will be hosted at the FIU Arena, a 5,000-seat indoor stadium. It will offer an individual sampling station for each shop, giving ticketholders the chance to taste a few sweets from each, including Nanndi, Chill'N, Circus Eats, and Chocolate Divas.
Expect cupcakes, ice cream, cookies, brownies, doughnuts, and other confections during the two-hour fest, which runs from 5 to 7 p.m.
"We have always planned to move it around the city each year to a new location," managing director Brad Matthews says. Last year's fest took place at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables. "This year, FIU has a brand-new multimillion-dollar courtyard at their arena. It also gives us much more space than we have had in years past."
Don't forget it's war after all. Guests can expect to receive a ballot to rank every vendor on a scale from one to three. The vendor with the highest score will win.
For the 2017 event, ticket prices jumped to $20, a five-dollar increase from last year. However, attendees have the opportunity to enjoy treats from 35 dessert sellers, up from 22 last year. Each ticket includes 20 vouchers, which can be traded for dessert samplings. More will be available for purchase at the event.
The ticket price also includes a personal to-go box, allowing each guest to snag a few treats for the road.
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Matthews expects about 1,000 attendees and for tickets to sell out in advance.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit dessertwarsmiami.com.