More chocolate means more business for Hannibal

Chocolate lovers and bargain shoppers flooded downtown Hannibal Saturday for a day they've been looking forward to all year long.

"I said I gave up sweets for lent, but today is my skip day," said Blaise Hart-Schmidt.

Hart-Schmidt isn't from Hannibal, but her friend is, and she specifically planned a trip to visit the city Saturday because of Chocolate Extravaganza and so did many others.

"Chocolate days have been great," said Judi Eckman

Eckman traveled all the way from Cedar Falls, Iowa for the event, but tourists aren't the only ones benefiting from the extravaganza.

"It's been fun," said Mary Glenn Bowman. "We opened up at 10 o'clock this morning and there have been people in here pretty much like this ever since."

Bowman owns Chocolaterie Stam on Main Street in downtown Hannibal and saw a huge increase in clientele during Chocolate Extravaganza.

"We're getting a lot of people that wouldn't normally come downtown," said Bowman. "People were a little bit afraid to come downtown because of the construction."

Downtown Hannibal has been undergoing construction. Despite signs that say stores are open, there has been confusion and businesses are feeling it.

"I'm sure it hasn't helped any, but people are just making due," said Bowman.

Store owners are hoping that Chocolate Extravaganza was a reminder to shoppers, that they open and ready for business, something even tourists took notice of Saturday.

"It's great to support these local businesses," said Hart-Schmidt. "It's great that they have these things that even tourists like me could come too."