Chowder Capital of New Jersey has a vibe worth exploring with a weekend promising a top food competition, live music with plenty of fall festival moments surrounding 31st Annual Foodie Event and the biggest consumer event in our region!
Our region is known for fantastic water sports, historic landmarks, thriving art scene, exceptional shopping and dining. As summer fades into fall, 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, October 5 is a free event featuring dozens of merchants selling end of season bargains and services. Along with entertainment including live music, Chowdasaurus the T Rex, First Responder midway fun, 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. Live music from 10 to 5 from Garage Kept, 40 North and Jimmy Brogan Band. Attendees can spend the day with dozens of merchants to shop for end of season bargains, localized specialties and gourmet food tent and VIP Beer Garden lounge.
This epic two day festival is held rain or shine and has become a ritual to welcome fall. The Cook off Classic is where the restaurants become the stars of the show on Sunday October 6. This year’s line up to date features: New England or White chowder competitors Country Kettle, Chicken or the Egg, Kubels 2, Hotel LBI, Ocean County College/Stockton University Hospitality Team and invitational guest competitor Bread & Brine from Hastings on Hudson NY. Manhattan or Red competitors include Lefty’s Tavern, The Mainland, Bistro 14, Cluck N Crabs and Black Whale. Creative Category which is seafood inspired offerings include: La Bamba, The Woo Hoo, Buckalew’s, Cuisine on the Green and Breakers. The Chowder Cook-Off Classic heats up at 11 a.m with VIPs getting early advantage 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. Great chowder is accompanied by great live music, the lineup scheduled to perform on Sunday are: Ted Hammock and Jason Booth, The Pickles and The Impulsives. Attendees can partake in the delicious food tent, grab a chair with padded seating, avoid long lines with extra beer and cider taps, shop exclusive Chowdawear merchandise, and vote and cheer on the winners at closing ceremonies scheduled at approximately 4pm. Tickets will be on sale at www.chowderfest.com or by contact through the Southern Ocean County Chamber. Toddlers under 3 are free, Tickets for Oct 6 Cook Off range from Children to age 12 $10, General Admission $30, VIP $65 .
Come by Land or By Sea! Parking at Chowderfest is always free, and there is plenty of options to help get you to and from the festival grounds. On Saturday and Sunday the Beach Haven/Tuckerton Seaport Ferry powered by the Southern Ocean County Chamber is running free of charge. Chowderfest Express departing from Tuckerton at 8am, 11am, 2pm, and 5pm (last return trip to Beach Haven) leaving from Beach Haven at 9:30am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 6:30 (last return trip to Tuckerton). Stand by riders are no cost, Reservations are available for a $5 per trip donation to Tuckerton Seaport on the LBI Ferry Website . For Sunday October 6, you can take the free Chowder Shuttle and park along three pick up stops located at 42nd Street (near St Francis/Daddy O), 68th Street in Long Beach Township and 95th Street (by Acme).
It takes a lot of support to keep this event growing, cheers to 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 2019 sponsors which include: Volunteer T Shirt Sleeve sponsors Panzone’s in memory of Chowderfest Chairman Frank V Panzone Jr. & Barlow Auto Group, and Atlantic States Group. North & South Gate Sponsors: Fantasy Island Amusement Park, Truss Tower Sponsor G Anderson Agency, Voting Tent Sponsor AltantiCare. Thank you to the Buccaneer Motel for their continued support. 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 [email protected]