Something about a celebration of chocolate calls to mind a French chateau dining room adorned with the glow of a thousand candles. On a long table set with a flowing white linen tablecloth, you’ll find gold serving dishes heaped with chocolate squares, chocolate creams, chocolate brioches, chocolate-dipped strawberries and, rising from the center, to quote Proust, the duke of luxe himself, “An architectural cake, as urbane and familiar as it was imposing.”

This is, in fact, not far from the fantasy created each year over Columbus Day Weekend at Featherstone Center for the Arts at its annual Art of Chocolate Festival. Pastry chefs and chocolatiers from around the Island come aboard and share their choicest wares.

This year a special surprise awaits, but first let’s make our way through the traditional outlay.

The chocolate-lovers among us arguably a majority of the world’s population will once again attend this Featherstone ceremony in a fit of delirious indecision: Where to start and how to pace oneself? You are aware you can’t eat it all, much as your eyes tell you at least to give it a try. But at a certain point you tap your lips daintily with a napkin and realize you’ve had your last bite.

Ah, the regret.

The tasting begins at a table on the deck outside Featherstone’s central gallery with chocolate martinis as well as champagne and dessert wines — Featherstone’s Francine Kelly has learned the art well and now presides as sommelier for these special wines. Then, with libation in hand one proceeds indoors to tables heaped with such treats as chocolate bread pudding from The Newes, chocolate mousse care of Slice of Life, almond butter crunch from New Moon Magick, brownies from Rickard’s Bakery, chocolate macaroons from the Scottish Bakehouse, the list goes on and on.

Last year this reporter attended the event and must admit my favorite offering were the chocolate snails (actually shaped like small croissants), created by Morrie Vanderhoop of Orange Peel Bakery in Aquinnah.

As if nibbling chocolate wasn’t enough, one can also enjoy heavenly whiffs of the dark delight in the washroom with the addition of chocolate-mint soaps (do not ingest).

This unique and delicious fundraiser for Featherstone was originated by Jeanne and Malcolm Campbell of Chilmark Chocolates. Mr. Campbell grew up in a family that owned patents to chocolates celebrated worldwide, a legacy that is evident in the excellence of the sweets offered at their beloved shop in the heart of Chilmark. The Campbells, whose philanthropy is legendary on these shores, are hosting this event once again, and you can be sure the samples of Chilmark Chocolates will be piled high.

Now here’s the show-stopper, alluded to earlier in the article: For tonight’s preview party, Oct. 7 from 7 to 9 p.m., the new Featherstone fire pit will await the evening’s guests with that most rapturous treat of our youth, the s’more! For anyone who was raised by wolves, or who never attended summer camp, a s’more is assembled by placing two graham crackers under and over marshmallows and squares of chocolate, normally Hershey’s. The equipage is briefly held over an open flame and then, as soon as it cools, you have one of the great desserts of history.

They’re called s’mores because kids always ask for, you got it, some more.

The chocolate celebration continues on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8 and 9, from noon to 4 p.m. each day, with all the trimmings save the s’mores (it’s a nighttime thing).

Friday night’s preview tickets are priced at $50 per person — all the chocolate you can eat. The afternoon affairs will be priced by numbers of items selected; two pieces for five dollars, five for ten dollars.

For more information call 508-693-1850 or visit