Flocks of chocolate lovers descended on downtown Rock Hill on a chilly Sunday for an afternoon of everything chocolate.
Most children's faces were covered in some sort of chocolate - cupcakes, ice cream, fudge or warm drizzled chocolate from the fountain - and some adults, too, at the second annual Decadent Dreams Chocolate festival at The Cotton Factory.
The festival is the only fundraising event for Keystone Substance Abuse Services, a Rock Hill nonprofit agency that provides prevention and treatment services for substance abuse and chemical dependency, said Monica Hanna, marketing and event coordinator for Keystone.
"People who can afford to pay for treatment, pay," she said. "We work with those who need treatment and can't afford it."
Sunday's fundraising festival is important for the facility to help those in the community who need treatment.
Last year's inaugural festival raised more than $11,000 for Keystone's inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, Hanna said.
"It's a fundraiser, but the event is to have fun," she said. "It's chocolate, and everyone loves chocolate."
The big draw of the festival, Hanna said, is the chocolate fountain.
"I've never seen a chocolate fountain before," said Rebecca Hayes of Lancaster.
"It's beautiful," she said. "And good, too."
Great Falls resident Daniel Colvin said he found information about the event online and brought his girlfriend, Hayes.
"It's not something you see every day," Colvin said of the fountain. "It's fun to sample from. It's good to be helping Keystone, too."
Nikki Seamster and her daughter, Amalee, agreed.
"We love chocolate and we love food. This is the festival for us," said Nikki Seamster. "We loved the chocolate fountain."
Amalee, 4, agreed. "Yes, ma'am, it's good," said Amalee, who had chocolate all around her mouth as she licked the stick she used to dip fruit and marshmallows into the fountain.
Festival-goers surrounded the main tent at the entrance of The Cotton Factory to watch a group of children compete in a pie-eating contest.
Without the use of utensils or their hands, the kids' strategies ranged from licking the whipped cream and chocolate pie to one boy who just buried his whole face in the dessert.
Saluda Trail student Shekinah Lightner, 12, came the closest to completely finishing her pie and was named champion.
"I just ate. Dug into it. I didn't really have a" strategy, said Lightner, who won a "World's Largest Hershey Kiss."
She said she hadn't had much chocolate before the contest and wasn't sure she wanted much more after eating nearly a whole pie in a few minutes. She described the pie as "pudding-like."
"I kind of thought I was going to win because I was bigger than a lot of the kids," she said.
This year's Queen of Chocolate, Lelia Hicklin, said she always wanted to be a queen of something.
Hicklin said the title of queen makes her an ambassador for the festival and gives her access to all the chocolate she can eat.
"I adore chocolate," said Hicklin, a Rock Hill native appointed as queen of the festival.
She spent the afternoon socializing, judging contests and having fun.
With more than 400 tickets sold in advance, Keystone received at least $4,000 in advance of the event, Hanna said. At least another 200 tickets were sold Sunday.
"We hope to beat last year's total," Hanna said.