On Saturday Feb. 6, 2016, Saratoga Springs held the annual and much anticipated Chowderfest.
The event was far from disappointing this year.
In having the expectation of a day widely regarded as “the best day of winter term,” my experience surely exceeded my anticipations.
We arrived on a yellow school bus and piled off in a stampede, fanning out in all directions. It was easy to get lost.
My advice: find a buddy and stick with them.
The seniors tended to gravitate towards the bars while the remainder searched for chowder lines to join. I went for the latter.
There were hoards of hungry people, both old and young, families and friends.
The weather permitted for a mild chill, making the chowder all the yummier for our slightly cold bodies.
My favorite chowder was definitely from Druthers.
As we queued up, the line seemed endless.
Inching forward, I smelled the pulled beef, corn, peppers and creamy chowder soon to excite my yearning taste buds.
We paid the dollar fee and moved down the assembly line under the warmth of the outdoor heaters.
At the finish, we received small cups of mouth-watering chowder. We were overjoyed with the outcome. Then, it was time for the next one. We spied a quant restaurant across the bar, called Gaffney’s.
Here, the line was shorter but the chowder was still a crowd pleaser.
They gave us small cups of corn chowder topped with a crab rangoon, which was crispy and delightful in my mouth.
Dunking the rangoon into the chowder made it all the more pleasing.
I continued my exploration through the streets of Saratoga, pushing my way through the crowds to get to the T-shirt stand.
Of course I was going to buy a shirt. I had already committed to the day of Chowderfest and wasn’t about to take any shortcuts.
The shirts were long-sleeved navy blue, with a red and yellow design on the front. I had to have one.
After the chowder was exhausted, the students looked around for a replacement. Pizza appeared just as desirable as the chowder had been. Fortunately, there was plenty of it.
Across the bar were two seperate pizzerias that attracted most of the hungry college students. Cheese, broccoli, pepperoni — you name it, they had it.
As the cheesy Italian food satiated many, people began to realize that their ride home (the yellow school bus) wasn’t arriving until 5 p.m. It was only 3:15 p.m. at this point.
Another hour and 45 minutes seemed like an eternity. To pass the time, I went to a cute coffee shop called Coffee Traders and drank a mocha, which warmed me up and kept me going.
Soon enough it was time to find the bus and pass out for the ride home.
Chowderfest was an experence worth having.
Memories were made, chowder was eaten and people were happy.
Be sure to put it on your bucketlist because Chowderfest is the best!