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Visitors to the Chocolate Expo in Wilmington on January 27 and 28 will have a chance to meet four of the stars of the classic 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Peter Ostrum (who played Charlie Bucket himself), Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt), Paris Themmen (Mike Teevee), and Rusty Goffe (the most recognizable of the Oompa Loompas) will join a panel discussion with audience Q&A each day, and be available to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.

Event producer Marvin Baum was inspired to organize the reunion by the release of Wonka, a new prequel that tells the story of how Willy Wonka became a famed chocolatier.

Paris Themmen, Peter Ostrum, and Julie Dawn Cole

“It’s bringing back the memories people have of their enjoyment of the original movie,” Baum says. “We thought it would be really nice to have a gathering of the original cast. This is going to be a unique experience, to have the stars of the largest chocolate movie at one of the largest chocolate events in North America.”

The expo, one of the largest chocolate events in the country, will welcome guests with a bank of chocolate fountains featuring milk, dark, and white chocolate options. The event will also feature some 90 vendors – most independent, artisan businesses – offering tastings and selling their wares, including filled chocolates, truffles, chocolate-covered pretzels, cookies, donuts, fudge, bark, hot chocolate, and so much more.

Photograph by Chuck Fishman

Some North Shore vendors will be on hand, including Danvers’ The Cookie Monstah, Secret Stash Sweets of Wakefield, Daniella’s Dandies of Stoneham, and The Baker’s Rack and Carolyn’s Farm Kitchen, both based in Haverhill.

Though the focus of the event is firmly on chocolate, a limited number of wine, spirits, cheese, and other vendors – including Ipswich’s 1634 Meadery – will also be attendance to complement the chocolate tasting experience. A line-up of kid-friendly activities including face-painting, crafts, and balloon animals will also be available.

Advance, timed-entry tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 5 to 12; prices at the door are $30 for adults and $15 for children. Late-day admission, for entry after 4 p.m., is $10 online or $15 at the door. A limited number of $40 VIP tickets will be available, offering early admission, an insulated tote bag, a chocolate bar, and a raspberry chocolate lip balm.

View the complete lineup and buy tickets at