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Annual ‘Death By Chocolate’ game in West OC, Saturday

By Kara Hallissey, Staff Writer

(Feb. 22, 2018) During the popular “Death By Chocolate” game, participants will search for Mr. Pirate Potato Head pieces inside 15 West Ocean City businesses, this Saturday, Feb. 24.

Those 18 and older are encouraged to find the Mr. Potato Head pieces before getting their game cards validated inside each store. The game is free to play.

“Stop in any of the participating merchants to get a game card,” said Jan Patterson, who organizes Death By Chocolate with Louise Reardon. “Each game card will have an outline of what Mr. Pirate Potato Head should look like. Find a potato with the body part attached in each store, fill in the picture and get it validated. There is one game card per person.”

The 11th annual event offers a complimentary chocolate treat at each merchant and players who finish the game will have a chance to take home a number of prizes ranging from gift certificates, to a pair of diamond earrings and a spa package.

A majority of the businesses have participated in Death By Chocolate since its inception, but there are three new stores taking part in the fun this year – Pineapple Top Cottage, Blushing Beauty Boutique and Ocean Elements Salt Spa & Float Center, Patterson said.

To play Death By Chocolate, players can pick up a game card at any of the 15 participating stores. To be eligible for prizes, players must visit all of the merchants, in any order, and find Mr. Pirate Potato Head’s body parts, while indulging in complimentary chocolate. Make sure to get game cards validated.

“It’s really fun and brings out different types of people,” Patterson said. “Couples have had their first dates playing. Some make it a girl’s day and rent a limo to play the game. New people to town have played on their own to see the different merchants. It pulls you into places you’ve never been. What else is there to do in the dead of winter?”

The stores will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and participants must bring their completed cards to Sunset Grille, on Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City, by 6 p.m. for a chance to win prizes.

Everyone who turns in a completed card has a chance to win one of the 17 prizes at Sunset Grille’s 7 p.m. drawing. Players do not need to be present to win. Winners will be notified on Monday, Feb. 26.

“We have not repeated a game yet and you are never too old to have childhood memories,” Patterson said. “It is also fun for the merchants. They are anxious for the spring and to show off what is new in their stores.”

Sunset Grille will host a huge post-game party, where drink specials will start at 1 p.m. and include $4 house wine, $2.50 domestic beer, $5 orange crushes and $5 chocolate martinis. Also, buy one entrée and appetizer, get a second entrée free from 4-7 p.m. To get this dinner deal, participants must make a reservation under “Death By Chocolate.”

In addition, Waterman’s Seafood Company will offer lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, which include half-price crab dip, a half-pound of medium steamed shrimp for $6.50 and a dozen littleneck steamed clams for $6.

Death By Chocolate participants can also buy one lunch special and get a second special half-price with choices such as a fried fish sandwich, fish tacos or a fried shrimp basket.

Drink specials include $4 Nutella martinis as well as rail drinks and house wines. Having lunch at Waterman’s Seafood Company will also enter Death By Chocolate participants into a surprise Seafood Lover’s Gift Basket raffle.

“Participants are welcome to visit Waterman’s for lunch and the post-party at Sunset Grille,” Patterson said.

Patterson-Hohman and Reardon, who own CraZy LadyZ! store, brought the Death By Chocolate idea from another town to West Ocean City 11 years ago.

The event grows annually with 40 people participating the first year and about 700 coming out in 2017.

“There are people who have played all 11 years and never missed an event,” Patterson said. “I start receiving phone calls in November up until now because people plan their vacations and make an entire weekend out of it.”

Death By Chocolate starts at 10 a.m. Saturday and continues until 5 p.m. followed by a celebration at Sunset Grille.

Call 410-213-8110 to make dinner reservations at Sunset Grille. For more information about the game, call 410-213-2085.