Congratulations to all who competed, voted, and was awarded in the largest ever post season event to take place in on Long Beach Island.
Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all who supported the 29th Annual Chowderfest weekend that took place September 30 and October 1 2017. With beautiful weather, high energy restaurants, enthusiastic crowds and passionate volunteers; this event surpassed previous events with a record number of 15000 in attendance. Chowderfest was created to extend the local economy and promote tourism past the traditional Labor Day Weekend. Though it is a home grown event, it reached across the country bringing people in from states such as California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Georgia, Florida, Virgina, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Major cities such as New Orleans, Houston, New York, St Paul and Philadelphia were also represented in the crowds that spent the day tasting chowder and enjoying the festival experience. Thank you to all of the attendees, who traveled near or far who chose to make Chowderfest part of their weekend.
At the award ceremony hosted by Glenn Kallina from WJRZ FM, Todd Elsasser, the event coordinator reported over 3,000 gallons of red, white and creative chowders were served during the event. Along with co-chairs Jillian Elsasser and Christopher Schwab, he presented the 2017 awards to:
New England: Grand Champion: Howard’s Seafood, 2nd Place: The Chicken Or The Egg 3rd Place: Country Kettle Chowda. Manhattan: Grand Champion: Lefty’s Tavern, 2nd Place: Stefano’s LBI, 3rd Place: Black Whale Bar & Fish House. Creative Chowder: Grand Champion: Blue Water Cafe LBI, 2nd Place: La Bamba Mexican Restaurant, 3rd Place: Cuisine on the Green at Atlantis Rookie of the Year: Delaware Avenue Oyster House Best Interpretation of the Theme: Country Kettle Chowda Best Shore Motiff Buckalew’s Restaurant and Tavern Most Enthusiastic Lefty’s Tavern, Most Creative Booth: Delaware Avenue Oyster House
A special thank you to all the hard working restaurants that pleased and fed crowds throughout the day Buckalew’s Restaurant and Tavern, Chicken or the Egg, Country Kettle Chowda, Howard’s Restaurant, La Bamba Mexican Restaurant, Black Whale Bar & Fish House, Lefty’s Tavern, Shore Fire Grille, Southern Ocean Medical Center, Stefano’s Restaurant, Sunny Rae’s Kitchen Food Truck, Blue Water Café, Cuisine on the Green at Atlantis, and Delaware Avenue Oyster House.
In addition, it was announced that to celebrate their 30th Anniversary the chamber Board of Directors created a Chowder for A Cause nonprofit partnership to be part of the 2018 event. Eligible Non Profit Members submitted applications that were reviewed by the 2017 competing restaurants during their pre event meeting which selected David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation based on a point value. Other changes this year was expanded field footprint, VIP Beer Garden, multiple band line up, and more hands on children’s activities.
The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank 2017 Presenting sponsors include Sysco, Ritchie & Page, Bud Light, TD Bank and The Sandpaper/Beachcomber. This year’s stage sponsor is Barlow Buick GMC, Vip Sponsor Anderson Insurance Agency, Voting Tent Sponsor AtlantiCare, T Shirt Sponsors Panzone’s Pizza and Jetty. Tourism Marketing Partners: State of NJ, Division of Travel and Tourism and the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Oyster Crackers are sponsored by Westminster Bakers Co. Additional support provided by Fantasy Island Amusement Park, Buccaneer Motel, Potts Excavating Inc, Sally’s Seafood, The Borough of Beach Haven, Southwicks Marina, Beach Haven Police, Fire & First Aid Squad, Thundering Surf and Murphy’s Market, Chowderfest Committee, Chamber Staff and Volunteers. A sincere thank you to all the Merchant Mart vendors, Make Shift Union, the fantastic band line up, Starlight Performing Arts Center and the outstanding children’s entertainment.
The Chowderfest Committee has already begun plans for an epic 30th Anniversary Chowderfest Weekend taking place on September 29 and 30 2018. For more information on how to get involved in the regional chamber’s efforts of building the local economy and accredited destination marketing efforts please contact them at 609 494 7211, www.visitLBIregion.com, or stop into their visitor center at 265 W Ninth Street in Ship Bottom. Stay connected with Chowderfest all year on facebook @theofficialLBIChowderfest or on www.chowderfest.com