Thursday, 31 January 2019 13:44

21st Annual Chowderfest Saturday, Feb. 2

By Thomas Dimopoulos | News

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Saratoga Chowderfest returns for its 21st year on Saturday, Feb. 2, when event-goers may sample more than 90 different chowders at $1 a pop.  The event takes place 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features 3-ounce chowder samples at participating establishments and is anticipated to draw more than 40,000 attendees, says Discover Saratoga President Darryl Leggieri. 

The 90 or so establishments offering up their own brand of chowder is about three times the number of businesses involved during the festival’s earlier days, in 2005. 

What has remained a constant is the cost of a sample – one dollar – and the special commemorative Chowderfest T-shirt, whose logo varies year-to-year and has been designed, since the festival’s inception in 2000, by local artist Hud Armstrong.    

Armstrong started drawing at the age of four during the era of radio, because he wanted to see what the things he heard about looked like. Since that time, Armstrong has created some significant works across the city – from the High Rock mural inside City Hall to a near 20-feet-long piece that covers the inside lobby of the Mabee Building and took two years to complete, which depicts more than 200 local Saratoga people done up in a 19th century style. 

This year’s Chowderfest T-shirt imagines a statuesque jockey riding atop a thoroughbred next to a snowman-making chipmunk. A pair of kids hold aloft bowls of chowder as the air route of a low-flying bird takes in the essence of its fragrance. Red letters across a snow white banner cheerfully reads: Welcome to Saratoga Springs. 

Chowderfest event-goers can pick up a ballot from any participating restaurant and vote for their favorite chowder samples. Valid ballots can be turned in at the Saratoga Springs City Center, or Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center – where winners will be announced at 6:30 p.m. on the day of the event. 

Free shuttles to downtown Saratoga Springs will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Wilton Mall park & ride near Dick’s Sporting Goods and the Saratoga Casino Hotel. Stay warm during the event with an official Chowderfest beanie ($7) and long-sleeve shirt ($10 or $12 for 2XL), which will be sold at the City Center and Visitor Center. 


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