What started as a tiny event that featured some local restaurants’ soups and chowders with just 400 people attending, soon turned into an event at Bedford Middle School that featured many different CT restaurants and had about 5,000 people attend. That’s some big growth, especially when you consider that the attendance for last year’s event was 40% more than Chowdafest 3. Put in different terms, there were 600 gallons of chowder and soup served with almost 50% more money raised for the Connecticut Food Bank from the proceeds. Believe it or not, Chowdafest 4 (2012) was so well attended that they had to turn 1,000 people away because of being over-capacity and parking limitations.
Well, that won’t be an issue this year! Chowdafest 5 will be held at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on February 3 (SOUP’er Bowl Sunday), the holiest day of the year for football lovers but now also for chowder lovers. Don’t worry, though, it will be going on from 11 am to 4 pm, so there will be plenty of time to get your party ready or head back to the house/bar before the game begins. Tickets are just $10 for adults, $5 for kids 6-12, and free for kids aged five or younger. Spoons and a voting card will be provided. Just bring your entrance fee, a healthy (or unhealthy) appetite, and some non-perishable food donations to help support the Connecticut Food Bank.
This move means that this is now the biggest food event in Connecticut and could possibly (will definitely, more like it) be the biggest food event in the Northeast, with an estimated 10,000 people showing up to down some amazing chowders and soups. Speaking of chowders and soup, there will be 30 total entries, with 23 restaurants total. The restaurants competing are the best of the best and are chosen by organizer Jim Keenan (the same awesome guy behind One Voice, setting a Guinness World Record) through suggestions, awards, reviews, and reputations. With your voting card, you’ll rate your favorites by bubbling in scores and the lovely ChowdaBot (we made that name up, but it sounds awesome) will keep track of the scores. You’ll vote 6 (worst) to 10 (best) with an option for a half point, too. So, no need to wonder anymore…as of 1/10, here’s the list:
- This is a zero waste event, with the spoons, cups, and the food all being composted!
- Chowdafest mascot Chef Quahog, the ultimate SOUPer Hero will be there and will be making appearances at local Stop & Shops! He’s our idol.
- Check out the “Clam Jam,” baby, featuring different bands from Sacred Heart University. They’ll be playing in all different spots throughout the arena
- OmNomCT might get involved in some of the good times, too. Details on that later…
- You’ll be supporting the organizers of this event, the Unitarian Church of Westport, the local restaurants participating, the food culture in general, and you’ll be raising much needed money and resources for the Connecticut Food Bank
- Chowdafest has been able to expand so greatly thanks to the sponsorship of some great companies such as Fiat of Fairfield County, The Farmer’s Cow, Hearst Publications, Star 99.9, Stop & Shop, and World Centric!
Chef Quahog Greater Fairfield County Tour Schedule:
Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 – Stop & Shop (Darien Kings Hwy) 3:30-5:30
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 – FIAT of Fairfield County (Stamford) 10:00-11:00
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 – Stop & Shop (Norwalk Ct Ave) 12:00-1:30
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 – Stop & Shop (Norwalk Main Ave) 2:30-4:00
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 – Sound Tigers Game (Webster Bank Arena) 7:30
Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 – Stop & Shop (Stamford Bedford St) 12:00-1:30
Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 – Stop & Shop (Stamford West Main St) 2:30-4:00
Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 – Stop & Shop (Westport) 3:30-5:30
Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013 – Stop & Shop (Bridgeport) 2:30-4:00
Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013 – Stop & Shop (Fairfield Villa Ave) 12:00-1:30
Sunday, Jan. 28, 2013 – Stop & Shop (Darien Heights Rd) 2:30-4:00
Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 – Stop & Shop (Fairfield Kings Hwy) 3:30-5:30
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 – Stop & Shop (Wilton) 12:00 – 1:30
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 – Sound Tigers game (Webster Bank Arena) 7:30
Sunday, Feb 3, 2013 – Chowdafest V (Webster Bank Arena) 11:00-4:00