Learn to make Wilbur’s of Maine chocolate bars during the first-ever Freeport Chocolate Festival Saturday, March 12.  Contributed / Wilbur’s of Maine

The inaugural Freeport Chocolate Festival will be held all around town from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 12.

Start at Freeport Town Hall at 30 Main St. to pick up a badge and try some chocolate-drizzled popcorn. Stop at Wilbur’s, 174 Lower Main St., for a chocolate bar-making class. The Art of Cake Studio will have a booth at the Harraseeket Inn, 162 Main St., to learn how to make a marshmallow flower to top a chocolate cupcake. Then on to Wolfe’s Neck Center, 184 Burnett Road, to make s’mores at the campfire and explore what the farm has to offer. Don’t forget to stop at L.L.Bean for hot chocolate and the Harraseeket Inn for a chicken mole station.

Sande Updegraph lives in Brunswick and is a longtime food writer. She can be reached at sandeupdegraph@gmail.com.

Passes that allow access to all events, discounts around town and giveaways and activities are $15/adults, $10/children 12 and under and are available at freeportmainechamber.com/chocolatefestival.html.

Federal Hotel opens

The Federal Hotel is now open for overnight guests in its four suites and 26 completely refurbished guest rooms at 10 Water St. in Brunswick. One of the suites is named for the original owner of the property, Capt. Daniel Stone, who built the house in 1806. Stone’s daughter, Narcissa, is the namesake for another suite. Both are in the historic Federal Wing, with the remaining rooms and suites in the East Wing.

All rooms and common areas have been updated with fresh, new artwork and colors reflecting the family’s nautical heritage. The entrance from the parking lot has been opened and updated with a modern, airy staircase and an elevator from the lower level to the upper level of rooms. Much more is to come with the unveiling of a redesigned restaurant that will open in the spring under the direction of an award-winning chef. The Federal is located in the space formerly housing The Daniel and Captain Daniel Stone Inns.

Food & Brew News

Vessel and Vine has released its March class schedule: March 9, Amaro, an Italian herbal liqueur; March 16, The History of Tea; March 23, The Wines of Tuscany; March 30, Black Oolong and Pu’er Tea. Classes at 4 Pleasant St. in Brunswick begin at 5:30 p.m. and cost $45/person, including drink samples and appropriate appetizers. Call 721-3000 for reservations.

Bath Ale Works is hosting a Saturday Sampler from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, March 5. Try Merepoint Oysters, sweet and savory baked items from Senza Scarpe Farm in Brunswick, crab rolls, organic eggs, and, yes, 12 beers on tap. All will be for sale and enjoyment with lots of seating and no reservations. 681 Bath Road, Wiscasset.

Monday, March 7, is the date of Bissell Brothers’ dinner-themed Tropical Getaway, with five courses and complementary brews on the menu. The 5 p.m. seating is sold out, but a few seats remain for the 8 p.m. service. Tickets are $110, including gratuity, at eventbrite.com. 38 Resurgam Place, Portland.

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