The Beachcomber — Memorial Day

30th Annual Chowderfest Sept. 29-30

May 16, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Certain things need to be celebrated in a big way; Chowderfest turning 30 is one of them. Plan to be there Sept. 29-30 at the Taylor Avenue Ballfield in Beach Haven.

The anniversary weekend kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 29, with a free merchants marketplace. Dozens of Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce member businesses will be offering end-of-season bargains, local specialties and gourmet food.

Live music from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. will feature a line-up of popular local bands. Children’s entertainment will include hands-on crafts and a command performance by Crunchy the T-Rex.

For the adults, a select variety of beers on tap and hard ciders are joined with a new wine-by-the-glass selection.

Last year’s expansion of the Chowderfest grounds proved popular, making way for more seating and extra room under the tents and by the stage.

The Chowder Cook-Off Classic heats up on Sunday, Sept. 30, at 11 a.m. as favorite restaurants face off for the tastiest chowder in three categories. All ticket-holders can sample and then cast their votes for the best red, white and creative chowders, with VIPs getting early access to the chowder tents at 10 a.m. VIPs also receive access to the Bud Lite Big Screen Bar with dedicated food and beverage service.

Children’s activities will take place throughout the day, along with crowd-pleasing live music.

Winners will be announced at the closing ceremonies, which are scheduled for 4 p.m.

Though Saturday is a free event, Sunday’s Cook-Off Classic is a ticketed event. Tickets can be purchased at chowderfest.com or by contacting the Southern Ocean County Chamber at 609-494-7211, visiting its Visitor Center at 265 West Ninth St. in Ship Bottom, or emailing info@sochamber.com.

Toddlers younger than 3 get free admission. Ticket prices for the Cook-Off are: children ages 4-12 – $10; general admission – $30; VIP – $65 (includes early access and an official 2018 Taster T-shirt.)

Proceeds from Chowderfest Weekend have provided financial support to hundreds of local charities and events, as well as scholarships to Pinelands Regional, Southern Regional and Barnegat high schools.

In honor of the 30th year, last year’s restaurants voted for a qualifying nonprofit organization to be the Chowder for a Cause Charity that will benefit from net proceeds of the 2018 event. David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation was selected and will be partnering throughout the anniversary year.

Look for exciting announcements leading up to the event. For more information, contact the chamber office or the website chowderfest.com. For sponsorship or restaurant information, send an email to Chowderfest Coordinator Todd Elsasser at todd@sochamber.com.  

— Maria Scandale

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