ChocolateFest also was introduced and became a popular Memorial Day holiday tradition, with a carnival, live music and, of course, a strong emphasis on chocolate treats.
The festival was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bil Scherrer, president of the festival organizing group, said although the festival is continuing, he agrees that it is time for Burlington to find a new community brand.
ChocolateFest occurs only one weekend out of the year, Scherrer said, while the city needs to project a message that will attract people all year round.
He added that city officials have talked with him about the rebranding effort, and he likes the sound of “City of Trails.”
“It’s something that would be more universal,” Scherrer said. “I think it’s a positive, prudent move on their part.”
Officials at Nestle could not be reached for comment.
Hefty, however, said Nestle representatives have offered their support to the idea of Burlington dropping the “Chocolate City U.S.A.” slogan.
The mayor recalled when the Nestle plant years ago was open for public tours and busloads of tourists arrived in town regularly to visit the factory. Now, the plant is closed to tours, and Nestle has diversified its product line in a way that de-emphasizes chocolate, she said.