Come in from the cold

13th annual DBC is a spy party you’ll love

Written by Joe Stumpe

It won’t take much snooping around to find great times at this year’s Death by Chocolate party at Exploration Place. Addd to the fun by coming dressed as your favorite spy, whether that’s James Bond or Mata Hari.

“Live and Let Die … by Chocolate” is the theme of the 13th annual fundraiser at the children’s science museum along the Arkansas River. Party goers will have a “top secret license to spy” using “old school, 007 spying techniques and surveillance,” EP spokesperson Christina Bluml said.

“We encourage people to get into the theme of things with the tuxedos, the fedora hats and the topcoats,” Bluml said.

Of course, if you just want to sample tons of great chocolate, savory treats and drinks, that’s fine, too.

Dozens of vendors will be set up to offer food and compete for best booth theme. New participants include Hazel Hill Chocolate Traditions, Defiance Brewing Co., Chicken N Pickle, Tom’s Town Distilling Co., Yolk’s Bakery and the Wichita Cheesecake Company. A “bottomless” bar will offer beer, wine and the night’s signature cocktail (perhaps a martini, shaken not stirred?).

Party goers can bid for silent auctions using their cell phones for the first time, and last year’s wine toss proved so popular that one with bottles of premium liquor will be offered this year. Local band Annie Up will provide music.

The party is being held in conjunction with EP’s new national traveling exhibit, “Top Secret: License to Spy.”

According to EP’s website, the exhibit allows visitors to “slink through the shadows of mystery…. Search exotic locales around the world to gather intelligence on a group of suspects, and build a case to determine the likely culprit. Control hidden cameras, sight-see with spy satellites, peer through the dark with night vision, crack codes, navigate a laser maze and much more.”

It was created by SciTech, an Australian nonprofit noted for its large-scale, interactive exhibits focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning.

“When you think about what spies have to do to gather surveillance, analyze what they’ve gathered, it’s the same kind of thing throughout the scientific process,” Bluml said.

DBC’s 13th go-around is off to a lucky start, with the VIP section already sold out and regular tickets expected to disappear faster than a Cold War spy.

“All this money goes to help our STEM education mission,” Bluml said. “That’s very important. People need to understand why we’re having this fundraiser in the first place.”

Death by Chocolate
Saturday, Feb. 23, 7–10 p.m.
Tickets: $95, available at or by calling 316.660.0620.

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