What better way to warm up in the middle of winter than with a warm cup of chowder? What about a few thousand? Be prepared for just that as Saratoga Chowderfest takes over Downtown Saratoga this Saturday, February 2 from 11am to 4pm. Now in its 21st year and hosted by Discover Saratoga, Chowderfest has become a Spa City tradition. Event-goers can purchase $1 sample cups of chowder from 94 participating restaurants, bars and other businesses (a new record), and the event is expected to draw up to 40,000 attendees. (That’s more than the entire population of Saratoga!)
“This is something you don’t want to miss,” Discover Saratoga President Darryl Leggieri tells saratoga living. “People travel from all over the region for the taste of chowder done right and to experience the excitement of Saratoga Springs.” Leggieri points out that with many local hotels offering special rates during Chowderfest, it’s easy to make a weekend out of the event.
From 8:30-11am there will be a pre-party celebration at Farmers Hardware Brunch Hall. Across the street from Congress Park, there will also be loads of family activities and fun at the Saratoga Heritage Area Visitor Center, including a simulated clam dig for prizes from 12-2pm. The festival officially starts at 11am and will feature, in addition to endless 3-ounce cups of chowder, live music and entertainment all day at various venues across Saratoga. Enjoy Chowderfest’s Daytime Dance Party at Saratoga City Tavern 12-5pm, games of corn hole and live music by Dan Sherwin at Prime at Saratoga National 11-4pm, and a free show of soul music at Embassy Suites 11-4pm by Saratoga’s music-man extraordinaire, Garland Nelson (check out the full schedule of events here). Plus, guests get to vote on their favorite type of chowder online or with a paper ballot at the Saratoga Springs Visiting Heritage Center (all voting ends at 5pm).
Even after all the votes have been counted and a winning chowder declared, there will still be lots of music and celebrating going on at Bailey’s Cafe and The Ice House until 8pm and at Putnam Place until 9pm. Just don’t eat too much chowder or you won’t be able to enjoy these others great events this weekend.
Friday, February 1
Saratoga Winterfest – The Spa City’s second annual gymnastics meet, all weekend (February 1-3) at the Saratoga Springs City Center.
Frostbite Friday – 5:30-8pm in Saratoga’s Art District on Beekman Street.
6th Annual Ballston Spa Chocolate Festival – 6-9pm throughout Downtown Ballston Spa.
Trey McLaughlin and the Sounds of Zamar – 8pm at the Troy Saving Bank Music Hall.
Comedian Rich Vos & Guests – Friday and Saturday, 7:30pm and 9:30pm both nights at The Comedy Works in Downtown Saratoga.
Saturday, February 2
Lake George Winter Carnival – The carnival is happening in Lake George every Saturday and Sunday in February.
Adirondack Theatre Festival’s 25th Birthday Celebration Anniversary Gala Benefit Party – 6:30-9:30pm at The Queensbury Hotel.
The Elvis & Orbison Show – A celebration of rock music legends, 7:30pm at The Egg in Albany.
17th Annual Gala for Autism – 6:30-10:30pm at the Hilton Garden Inn, Clifton Park.
Get The Led Out – The American Led Zeppelin – 8pm at the Palace Theatre in Albany.
Ryan Montbleau – 7 and 9:30pm at Caffè Lena.
Sunday, February 3
43rd Annual Antique Show & Sale – 10am-4pm at Shenendehowa High School East in Clifton Park.