The Auction and Bidding Process

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 1.05.17 PMScreen Shot 2014-01-11 at 1.05.17 PMScreen Shot 2014-01-11 at 1.05.17 PMThe Chocolate Festival evening features two auctions: a silent Auction and live auction. Bid numbers are needed for both. Obtain a bid number at the bid registration table when you arrive.

The silent auction occurs first and takes place during the public tasting. All dessert entries are available for tasting and People’s Choice voting, however, the desserts entered by professional chefs are not available for Silent Auction bidding; they are only sold during the Live Auction. A silent auction bid card will be located near each dessert, with a minimum bid of $25 noted.

Silent Auction Bidding and the “Buy It Now” (BIN) Option

It works a bit like eBay. If you’re the first to bid on an item, bid what you like. If there’s a current bid, you can beat it by placing a bid that’s at least $5 higher. Or you can close the bidding and secure the item for yourself by pledging to pay the “Buy It Now” price marked on the bid card. Just write your bid # and “BIN” instead of a dollar amount.

A volunteer at the table where the item is displayed will then write “SOLD” on the bid card in big red letters. When convenient, a volunteer or committee member will take the bid card to the check-out table and file it according to the winning bid #.

The winning bidder can pay the BIN price at the checkout area and claim the item as soon as the tasting period is over and the desserts are moved to the pick-up area – but not before.  Silent Auction bidding will continue for a while but BIN bidders/buyers won’t need to wait until the Silent Auction ends to claim their goods.

In the unlikely event that an item receiving a BIN pledge wins the People’s Choice award, the BIN agreement will be void and the item will be put up for sale in the live auction instead.

At 8:00 p.m., when the People’s Choice voting time is closed, we will pull the award winners from the Silent Auction area and move them to the stage for the Live Auction. The remaining Silent Auction desserts will be moved to the Auction Pick-Up Area where the bidding will continue.  The Silent Auction will close approximately 30 minutes after the Live Auction begins; closing of the Silent Auction will be announced by the auctioneer.   Results of the Silent Auction will be posted approximately 30 minutes after the end of the Silent Auction. They will not be verbally announced.  All desserts and other auctioned items will be held in the Auction Pick-Up Area until they are paid for and claimed by the lucky donor.

The Live Auction begins after the announcement of the Award Winners. The top judges choice in each category (cakes, cookies, brownies, chocolates, Potpourri, and Parent/Child), all professional entries and the People’s Choice winners will be offered during the live auction (and maybe a few others that strike our fancy – you never know!). We hope that with this dual auctioning system we can maintain a festive, frenzied aura (and generous bidding) while allowing everyone to get home by 10:00 p.m.

Non-Dessert Auction Items

Over the years, the Chocolate Festival has been fortunate to have a variety of exciting non-dessert items donated by local citizens, businesses and service providers. These donations are offered during the Live Auction. Non-dessert donations change from year to year. Some examples of past non-dessert auction items have included:

  • A Deluxe Coffee Gift Basket from Cafe Ibis

  • A night at a Yurt, with gourmet backpack dinner, from Powder Ridge Ski Touring

  • Spa packages including massage, pedicure, manicure, hair styling and yoga classes

  • A quality Bike or SnowSki tune up to keep your sports equipment in tip top shape

  • Spanish wine tasting and tapas party


The Grand Prize in the raffle could be a dinner for four at an exquisite Italian restaurant, or maybe a certificate good for twelve massages or pedicures, all along with our several other exciting raffle prizes. The Grand Prize winner will be drawn first.  YOU MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN for all raffle prizes.  If you purchase raffle tickets and then need to leave, we suggest you leave your raffle tickets in the custody of a trusted friend to listen for your numbers and claim your prizes.  If the bearer of the ticket pulled is not present we will pick another ticket until we have a winner. Raffle tickets are available for a $1 donation or 6 for $5 at the Festival.