Festival a Cool Draw

Downtown Saratoga and Saratoga Spa State Park’s Winterfest 2012

Outdoor activities at Chowderfest.

Outdoor activities at Chowderfest. Submitted photo

Connie Crudo, Membership and Services Coordinator of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau has been organizing Chowderfest and its downtown area aspects since its inception. She says that 66 restaurants will be participating in the Chowderfest this year, which runs from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. with awards for chowders in several categories to be held at 6:00 p.m. at The City Center.

Crudo is amazed when she talks about the growing number of visitors to the area for the weekend, and that evidence can be reflected in the number of t-shirts given out to voters of Chowderfest. She reports, “Last year we gave out two thousand shirts, and they went quick! This year we’ve ordered three thousand [in anticipation of collectors seeking to get their shirts].”

Visitors can get ballots for chowder voting at any of the participating restaurants, and can turn them in at the City Center where they can receive their shirts.

“We’ve added a new category to Chowderfest this year, now we also have a dessert category,” says Crudo. This should make for some interesting entries.

More Events during the weekend

Sled racing at Prestwick Chase (100 Saratoga Blvd.) where participants are welcome to fashion sleds out of cardboard and duct tape, and nothing else. This event is free, but you must pre-register. 12-3 on Sunday.

Photographers in front of Impressions, where you’ll be able to get your picture taken and purchase photo cards.

Live broadcast from Radio Disney from 2:00-3:30 at the Saratogian parking lot.

Live broadcast of WEQX at City Center.

5th Annual Dog Chow Down – Chowder just for dogs! You can bring your pooch to enjoy the array of chowders for dogs. 1:00 p.m. at the Saratoga Downtowner Motel. Mayor and Julie Johnson's dog Biff will decide the winner.

“A lot of people stay after that 4:00 hour when Chowderfest ends, and there’s still a lot to do,” says Crudo who points out that most restaurants/pubs will have some form of musical entertainment at that point.

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