Steaming hot chocolate poured from the spout and splashed into the cup. Marshmallows, animal crackers and an assortment of toppings were piled high. Children of all ages lined up excitedly as they received their hot chocolate and put as much candy as possible on top of the steamy, hot drink.
National Hot Chocolate Day was celebrated in this manner from 3-8 p.m. Jan. 31 at Mozingo Recreational Park. Community businesses such as the Board Game Cafe and the New Nodaway Humane Society were both at the event. A hot chocolate bar, bouncy houses, games and hot dogs were provided.
Alyssa Lewis, an alumna from Northwest, has been working on the sales and marketing team for Mozingo since November 2019. She said that this was the first time National Hot Chocolate Day has been celebrated at Mozingo.
“This is a newer, fun event,” Lewis said. “The people in the community can stop in at any time, so it has an open house feel to it.”
In order to get the word out to the community for this event, it was posted on many of the businesses’ social media outlets. This included the Facebook pages of both the NNHS page and the Board Game Cafe page.
“It promoted social business and partnering with local community members,” Lewis said.
The Board Game Cafe provided games for the kids such as a large checkerboard, Apples to Apples and the card game Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza. The owner, Scott Copplend, said that Lewis had called out of the blue to come to this family event.
“As a community, coming together in order to offer cheap events for parents is a good thing,” Copplend said.
Copplend said there are few options for active kids to do in winter. He mentioned that his wife and her sister were bringing both their kids to the event.
“We’ve been cooped up,” Copplend said. “It’s a chance to get the kids out of the house.”
Copplend made sure to bring games that were geared for kids. This included games that were quick and short for kids with small attention spans.
“I did not bring a lot of complicated games,” Copplend said. “I only brought one puzzle.”
Mandy Sevits, the event coordinator at Mozingo, said that the event was centered around being family-friendly.
“It gives the kids something to do in the winter,” Sevits said. “It includes donations to a sound cause.”
This cause was a free-will donation to the New Nodaway Humane Society. The NNHS showcased three cats and two dogs that are waiting for adoption. This included Buffy the cat and Jones, an extremely timid dog.
Ashlyn Hoy, a senior studying elementary education and a general caretaker at NNHS, said that bringing the animals helped the kids at the event, the workers at NNHS and the animals themselves.
“We tried to bring a few animals who have been overlooked,” Hoy said.
She said that not only is it good for the kids to interact with them but for the animals to be with people too.
“It also helps us to learn more about them,” Hoy said, referring to the animals.
The donations that NNHS received during the event will be used for the basic care of animals at the shelter. This includes food, litter and more.