MANCHESTER - The HotChocolate Society's 2013 Culinary Awards and Oscar Party will take place this Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Wilburton Inn and will help the "Digitize Village Picture Shows" Kickstarter campaign funds reach the goal of $175,000 soon.

The Oscar party begins at 5:30 p.m. with a pre-show reception featuring one complimentary champagne cocktail for those over 21, Vermont artisan breads and Taylor Farm cheeses. New York City based jazz singer Christy Baron will be performing most of the songs nominated for Best Original Song. Broadway singer and performer Jamie C. Ward will accompany her.

During the broadcast of the 85th Academy Awards guests will enjoy a savory and sweet culinary tasting experience in the form of The HotChocolate Society's Culinary Awards that challenge chefs to explore the art of cooking with chocolate as an ingredient. Chefs that have joined the competition as of press time include Natasha & Matt Littrell and Gene Rowley (Crazy Russian Girls Bakery, 2012 Sweet Bite Champions), Theo & Nora Kennedy (Chill Vermont Celato, Montpelier), Martin Scheulke (Grafton Inn), Ali (H.N. Williams), Johanna Sophia (Johanna's Raw Food), Vic Toritto (Fior D'Italia) together with a yet to be determined chef, and Hadley N. Stock (Pink Boot Farm).

Judging of the "bites" will be done by a jury of food & media professionals and also by guests resulting in jury and audience awards for Best Savory Bite and Best Sweet Bite. Customized cutting boards will be awarded to winners in both Savory and Sweet categories by the jury and the audience.

More entertainment and fun for guests include a "green-screen" studio to put you at the Academy Awards with photography by Christy Nevius, a free print from The Image Loft, and participation in the Fashion Competition to be judged by Ellen Batzel Adams (Zippy Chicks), Robin Lane (Robin Lane Clothing). Offering a wardrobe tip, Ellen from Zippy Chicks says, "an Oscar Party is one of the only times each year, besides New Year's Eve, that you can go all out in attire and no one will bat an eyelash! Basic dress code for a party like this is: cocktail attire. But don't be afraid to glam it up with sparkly costume jewelry or sequins."

Winners in three categories including Best Dressed Woman, Man, and Couple will receive prizes from Reluctant Panther and Green Door Day Spa.

All guests may participate in the OscarĀ® pool withchances to win prizes from JK Adams and others.

Oscar Party tickets are $55 in advance and $65 dayof event and may be purchased online at www.thehotchocolatesociety.com. Tickets may also be purchased over the counter at the Village Picture Shows and Zippy Chicks in Manchester or the Crazy Russian Girls Bakery in Bennington.

Contact Michael or Carolina Ellenbogen at (802) 768-8498 if you have any questions. Join the conversation on Facebook at /TheHotChocolateSociety and stay up to date with the details of the event as they happen.