There is one event that helped shape the culinary landscape of Long Beach Island and surrounding communities, and the reason that LBI is undisputed Chowder Capital of NJ. Since 1989, the Southern Ocean County Chamber has been organizing Chowderfest, which was developed to extend the local shoulder season. The event has changed over the years but 2021 saw the beginning of new traditions. Working with the Borough of Beach Haven to provide the best solution for the largest gathering on LBI, redefining the environment for restaurants, volunteers, merchants and attendees.
This year the big event takes place Saturday, October 1. Holding it one day has been a longtime request, allows for a rain date that Sunday and takes coastal resiliency into account. Traveling tasters can save the date after hitting the Chowder Trail all month supporting restaurants directly and head to the festival to relax! The 2022 festival will be enhanced with outdoor, creative and festive merchants. The festival will remain a FREE event running from 10 am to 7pm.
Participating restaurants will be on the Chowder Trail from September 3 thru 30th, where tasters can check in and vote online for their favorite red, white and creative soups. The trail will lead to a one-day free festival held at Taylor Avenue Bayfront in Beach Haven on October 1. This day will be featuring chowder for purchase, live music, vendors, beer on tap, wine and seltzers. The event space will be outfitted for foodies, families, friends and leashed pets to gather as well as to cheer on the champions at the award ceremonies. With pandemic restrictions waning, 2022 will bring back children’s activities, including chowder, other diverse menu items and Heritage Chowderfest merchandise plus 2022 limited edition gear.
As in 2021, there will be no chowder sampling at the event, and no tickets needed to attend. Proceeds from this annual event have allowed the Southern Ocean Chamber to work towards fulfilling its 108-year mission of strengthening the business community by investing in marketing, strategic planning, economic research, providing critical communication and support during times of crisis and access to keynote speakers and programs. The Chamber continues to advance the community creating scholarships for the three area high schools, hosting nonprofit forums and business events on a variety of topics to assure sustainability.
Plan to expand with Chowder Trail from Labor Day Saturday to September 30, and free Fest on 10/1. Register to vote or find out the latest trail and event details go to https://chowderfest.com/ , or call 609 494 7211.