SHIP BOTTOM, N.J. -- Chowderfest Weekend is just around the corner. This iconic event has extended the summer season to keep the party rolling a few weeks longer. Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce members again have prepared a memorable weekend to kick off fall by pulling out all the stops for a two day festival.
Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce presents 30th Anniversary Chowderfest Weekend with community sponsors and 19 “in it to win it ” restaurants. For three decades, the festival has been providing unlimited tasting and crowd participation like none other, establishing LBI as the Chowder Capital of the Jersey Shore.
The Long Beach Island Region of the Jersey Shore is known for fantastic water sports, historic landmarks, thriving art scene, exceptional shopping and dining. As summer fades, Long Beach Island begins to buzz in anticipation of the iconic event that draws thousands back for their chowder pilgrimage each year.
Chowderfest Weekend is a community event that brings out long standing volunteers, active sponsors and competitive restaurants. Started by Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce members in the late 1980s to extend the season for local businesses and a reason to keep merchants and restaurants open past Labor Day; it is now synonymous with the island itself.
Each restaurant prepare over 200 gallons of their secret recipe to provide ticket holders with unlimited samples to earn their vote in the Red, White and Creative categories. Voters get to experience the themed booths, enthusiastic servers and a number of surprises under the big tents at they decide who will be their choice this year. Saturday, September 29 is a free event featuring dozens of merchants selling end of season bargains and services. Along with entertainment including live music, Crunchy the T Rex, hands on children’s crafts and free activities there is specialty food court, exclusive Chowdawear merchandise for
sale as well as beer, hard cider and wine by the glass for purchase.
The organization of this epic two day, rain or shine event is a massive undertaking, which is the task of the Chowderfest Committee headed up by chamber’s Chowderfest Coordinator; Todd Elsasser.
The Cook off Classic is where the restaurants become the stars of the show on Sunday September 30. This year’s line up is the most impressive with nineteen top competitors: New England or White chowder competitors Country Kettle, Chicken or the Egg, Howard’s, Tucker’s Tavern, Wally’s and Polly’s Dock. Manhattan or Red competitors include Lefty’s Tavern, Buckalew’s, Stefano’s, Ocean County College Hospitality Program Bistro 14 and Black Whale.
Creative Category which is seafood inspired offerings include: Delaware Ave Oyster House, La Bamba, Sunny Rae’s , The Woo Hoo, Blue Water Café, Cuisine on the Green and the first international competitor Nancy’s Barn of Ballyliffen Ireland.
The Chowder Cook-Off Classic heats up at 11a.m with VIPs getting early access to the chowder tents to taste and view competitors’ decorative booths at 10 a.m. VIPs also receive an official Taster’s T Shirt, and access to Bud Lite Big Screen Bar with dedicated food and beverage service. The 2018 VIP advantage is brought to you by Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean Medical Center.
Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce recognizes long standing sponsors who have provided unprecedented support including Sysco Foods, The Sandpaper/Beachcomber, Bud Light, Ritchie & Paige Distributors, Barefoot Wines, Westminster Bakers Company, TD Bank, Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders and NJ Division of Travel and Tourism.
Special thank you to 2018 Volunteer T Shirt Sleeve sponsors Panzones in memory of Chowderfest Chairman Frank V Panzone Jr. & Atlantic States Group. North & South Gate Sponsors DiFeo Manahawkin Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram/DiFeo Manahawkin Kia, Double Truss Tower Sponsor G Anderson Agency, VIP Sponsor Hackensack Meridian Health Southern Ocean Medical Center, Truss Tower sponsor Atlantic States Group and Voting Tent Sponsor AtlantiCare.
For more information on the event visit, www.chowderfest.com. For up to date information, go to Official LBI Chowderfest Facebook page. Tickets can be purchased at chowderfest.com or by contacting the Southern Ocean County Chamber at 609-494-7211, at their Visitor Center at 265 West Ninth Street in Ship Bottom, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chowder For A Cause
In celebration of three decades of presenting this epic community driven event, the participating chowderfest restaurants of Chowderfest 2017 had the opportunity to vote on a worthy local cause that would be aligned with Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce’s Chowderfest efforts leading up to and during the 30th Anniversary Chowderfest Weekend.
With the majority vote, David’s Dream and Believe was chosen to be the first Chowder for A Cause Partner Charity. David’s Dream and Believe Cancer Foundation is 501(c)3 nonprofit that raises funds to provide financial assistance, wellness service and HOPE to families primarily in New Jersey, affected by cancer diagnosis.