All About: Saratoga Chowderfest 2012 (special recipe included!)


Many people feel that winter in Saratoga NY is long and dreary but there are so many things to do with kids, family events, and lots to explore!  One fabulous annual event is Winterfest in Saratoga Springs.

Chowderfest is one of the top events during Winterfest and a must-do.  Winterfest is February 3-5th and features a weekend of special events, live entertainment and of course, Chowderfest.  Our events calendar will has all the details.

What is Saratoga Chowderfest?

Chowderfest is an annual event that celebrates winter, good food, and family fun.  2012 marks the 14th annual Chowderfest and each year it gets bigger and better.  The event takes place on Saturday, February 4th from 11am-4pm.  Here’s the link to view the participating establishments.

What do you do during Chowderfest?

Stroll the streets of downtown Saratoga Springs and stop at participating Chowderfest establishments to sample their best chowders for $1 each.  You can pick up a ballot and vote for your favorites!

Have a four-legged friend?  Head over to Dawgdom for the dog chowder and the Doggybooth photo shoot with the amazing Heather Bohm-Tallman! Kids are welcome.

How does the voting work?

Pick up a ballot at any participating restaurant to vote for your favorite chowder.  You can always just sample without voting, but it’s fun to participate by voting as well.  Completed ballots can be dropped off at the Saratoga Springs Visitors Center, The Saratoga Arts Center or the Saratoga Springs City Center and while there you can purchase your 2012 Chowderfest long sleeved t-shirt for $7

What about the kids?

Chowderfest is very family friendly, however the streets and sidewalks are busy and often there are lines at the chowder stops.  Be patient, dress warm, and have a few warm-up spots in your loop such as the library, the City Center or the Saratoga Marketplace near Silverado on Broadway.

  • The Radio Disney Road Crew will be live in the Saratogian’s parking lot (20 Lake Ave) from 2-3:30
  • The Police Benevolent Association will be serving FREE hot chocolate and coffee in front of Piper Boutique from 11 am-4 pm.
  • Saratoga Plan will have kid’s activities at the City Center.
  • United Methodist Church will be handing out FREE hot chocolate at the City Center.

Chowderfest in Saratoga Springs is not only a favorite event for the chowder “tasters”, it’s also a favorite event for restaurants as well.  John Baker, owner of downtown hot spot Gaffney’s (which has won “best chowder” a few times in the past) loves Chowderfest.  “It’s one of my favorite events of the year.  If the weather cooperates, it will be huge,” Baker said.  February being a slower time for most restaurants in downtown Saratoga, gives participating Chowderfest establishments a nice boost.

“Years ago about 6 restaurants participated and we scooped chowder out of a crock pot,” John Baker owner of Gaffney’s explained.

This year Gaffneys will be preparing 160 gallons, up from 130 gallons last year.  Head to Gaffneys (16 Caroline St) to sample their tomato-based “Racetrack Chowder”.

Easy New England Clam Chowder | Chowderfest SaratogaWant to make your own winning chowder?

Kim Bernard from the local blog From My Corner of Saratoga shares this recipe for easy New England Clam Chowder!





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