River of Lights officially kicked off this weekend at the Botanical Gardens, and this year, visitors may notice a new addition to the attraction that might have people packing on some extra weight this holiday season.
‘Tis the season to be jolly. At this year’s River of Lights attraction, there’s a new reason to scream.
“We’re trying to make people a little more excited and kind of get that ‘wow’ factor from people,” says Executive Chef Tom Garton.
Garton hopes these decadent treats will be the ‘wow’ factor visitors are looking for.
“We’ve got these giant pretzels. We call them steering wheel pretzels,” he says. “Rice Krispie treats dipped in chocolate. Some of our drinks with some chocolate cake and pie.”
Garton also developed a brand new hot chocolate drink just for the River of Lights called the Loco Cocoa.
This is the first year the BioPark is offering visitors a chance to taste items that are not usually on their menu.
Garton says the inspiration for these sweet treats came from one of the most famous theme parks in the world.
“Disney is king when it comes to anything amusement park, so we kind of took a couple cues from them,” he says.
Garton says he took items on the existing menu to the next level by adding chocolate.
“Chocolate always makes people happier,” he says.
For Garton, that’s the ultimate goal.
“To have people carrying something and other people seeing and going, wow where did you get that? I need to get that,” he says.
These desserts will only be available during the River of Lights.
Chef Garton says the elaborate hot cocoa drinks can also come with alcohol, you just have to ask.