2005_01_food_city_bakery.jpgYou may have some in your well-stocked pantry, but if not, never fear. It's time for the 13th Annual City Bakery Hot Chocolate Festival!

Apparently this year to commemorate the occasion, on January 30th from 12-4, Maury Rubin is going an extra step -- shutting down 18th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, bringing in snow to pile up on the sidewalks, and installing a portable ice rink. The day comes complete with free skating (and skate rentals) and a “Design Your Own Snowman” contest.

The monthlong festivities include a featured flavor each day and, as described by New York Magazine, "special attractions ranging from the highbrow (an essay contest, a Moth-affiliated storytelling night on February 22) to the low (temporary tattoos and a mayo-enriched “Red State” hot chocolate)."

For more information, and to enter the essay contest (one question is, "when drinking City Bakery hot chocolate with a homemade marshmallow, is it better to eat the marsmallow first or last? Why?"), see hot-chocolate-festival.com.

City Bakery, 3 W 18th St, between 5th & 6th Aves, (212) 366-1414.