Sponsored by the Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau, Chowderfest brings together the best local establishments to concoct their take on classic clam chowder soup. More than that, it celebrates Saratoga Springs and the surrounding communities with live music, delicious food, and plenty of activities to keep you and your family entertained. It's one of the community's most anticipated events of the year. Why wouldn't it be? It combines the chilly winter weather with soothing and warm takes on clam chowder. Make your way to downtown Saratoga Springs Saturday, February 6 between 11 am and 4 pm to taste chowder from over 90 vendors.
What's There to do at Chowderfest?
Chowderfest gives you the power to vote for your favorite chowder from any of the participating establishments. Pick up a ballot from any of the establishments and get tasting. Categories include People's Choice, Best Newcomer, Best on Broadway, and Most Chowder Served. Cherry-pick among local favorites for $1 a cup (3 oz. serving). Vote online at DiscoverSaratoga.org, or turn in your complete ballot at the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center. Afterward, head on over to the Saratoga Hilton to purchase an official Chowderfest long-sleeve t-shirt for $10 ($12 XXL). When all is said and done, winners will be announced at 6:30 pm at the Area Visitor Center.
Family and Dog-friendly
Sample traditional favorites or unique creations based on the classic chowder recipe. Last year, people sampled everything from chorizo and sweet corn chowder to Irish whiskey chowder and even vegan and gluten-free options. As you stroll through the streets, you'll notice activity tables for the kids that include face painting, balloons and plenty of photo opportunities. Although it will be the 18th annual Chowderfest, this year marks the 8th annual "Dog Chow Down" at 1 pm where competing restaurants cater to your four-legged friends at the Saratoga Downtowner Motel. In the past, dog chowder contained natural ground beef, pumpkin, and low-sodium bacon.
A Growing Tradition
It's safe to say the streets will be busy. Last year, participants served over 150,000 bowls. In 2003, over 25,000 people attended, some from as far away as Canada. Back then, only 73 establishments participated in this event. This year, they'll have over 90 which goes to show Chowderfest's growing popularity. Just make sure to bring your layers. And don't worry if you forget your winter gloves at home, the chowder bowls should keep your hands warm.
Need a ride? Free shuttles will run from the Wilton Mall and the Saratoga Casino into downtown Saratoga Springs from 10 am to 6 pm.