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'Chip Chowder' at Chowderfest

Many customers initially associate the company with "pure snacking" but Jameson said even though the dips and shakes are perfect with the chips, they can also be used on sandwiches and to kick up potatoes, soups and pasta.

There will be 1,000 servings of Saratoga Chip Chowder available at Chowderfest and the goal is to sell out, said Jameson. Tasters will also get to sample Saratoga Specialty Company's newer products when they buy a chowder.

Saratoga Specialty company isn't the only new vendor jumping into the action this year. Connie Crudo, membership and services coordinator of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau which sponsors the annual event, said this year's participants jumped to 72 from last year's 56.

"That's a big jump and we're growing quickly," said Crudo. "We approximated 11,000 people showed up last year and 56,000 plus chowders were sold in five hours. This year's numbers will be staggering."

In addition to more chowders to taste, Crudo said the awards presentation will be held Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in the City Center. Traditionally it's done Monday morning but Crudo said by that time, the buzz has died down.

"We wanted to do it so people who have gone and tasted chowder can come root for their favorite and make it fun for everybody," said Crudo. "We wanted a bunch of people to cheer and hoot and holler and support everybody."

There will be a cash bar and DJ playing music and doing games and prizes at the ceremony. There will also be Chugs, or reusable Chowderfest mugs, available for the first time at local retailers for $5.

Chowderfest will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Samples are 3 ounces and $1 each. Tasters can fill out ballots and return them to Saratoga Arts Council or the Saratoga Visitor Center. More information is available at www.discoversaratoga.org. Saratoga Specialty Company's Chip Chowder recipe will be available at www.originalsaratogachips.com.

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