By Caitria O'Shaughnessy
No doubt you heard last Saturday, Saratoga Springs hosted its annual Chowderfest, a tradition that has lasted 17 years. This event has become a staple for the town and surrounding communities during the dark and cold winter months. People come from all over to traipse through downtown in the cold and snow, moving from stand to stand and restaurant to restaurant all in search of “buck-a-cup” chowder.
This year, Chowderfest boasted 88 participants, including restaurants from in-town, out-of-town, and dog chowder contest participants. This year, Druther’s won multiple awards, including The People’s Choice, Best On Broadway, and Most Chowder Served. The full list of winners from this year, as well as past years, can be found here.
While braving thirteen-degree weather for several hours on a quest to taste the best chowder seems unrealistic to anyone who doesn’t reside in New England, the turnout for the fest tells a different story. Some chowder lines stretched as far a block long while other people crammed into restaurants all over town leaving little room to breathe, let alone slurp their chowder in peace. The streets were also packed. In fact, the town looked about as crowded as it does on a good weekend in racing season, only with three extra layers of clothing. Several streets were blocked off and despite the blustery weather, everyone was having fun walking around, talking, laughing, and trying to find another cup of chowder to stay warm.