Friday, October 3, 2014

Changes ahead for Troy's 2014 Chowderfest

TROY >> The Downtown Troy BID and the city of Troy will announce major operational changes to Chowderfest, a regional food competition going into its eighth year, at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 7. Chef Chris Carpentier from Finnbar’s Pub will be also on hand for a food demonstration.

“This is one of our most beloved events, and we are taking the opportunity to try and work through some of the logistical issues that have come up in the past,” said Erin Pihlaja, executive director of the Downtown Troy BID. “The event draws tens of thousands of people and we feel like we can easily grow that.”

In years past, the popular event sold out of chowder within hours of opening. This year the BID changed the hours of the festival to noon to 4 p.m., and will stagger the tickets sales for samples at noon and again at 2 p.m. Festival goers will also only be able to purchase 20 tickets at a time, but are welcome to purchase additional sets of twenty throughout the day. Each ticket costs one dollar and will get the festival goer a three ounce serving of the chowder of their choice.

“Chowderfest is another one of our great events that is not only popular with Troy residents, but anticipated by people throughout the Capital Region,” said Mayor Lou Rosamilia. “We are pleased to again host this festival and excited for people to come and enjoy Troy.”

“We made some other exciting changes too,” said Pihlaja. “This year we will choose 15 people at random to judge the People’s Choice competition, making it a true blind taste test which will elevate this competition even further.”

Guest judges will be chosen from ballots filled out at the festival welcome tent starting at noon.
The People’s Choice judging will begin a 2 p.m. The Chowderfest will still award prizes in other categories such as Best Vegetarian, Best Booth, Most Original, Best Seafood, and Judges’ Choice.

This year’s judges are food writers and critics Steve Barnes and Bill Dowd and Chef Jackie Baldwin.
They will begin judging at noon and all awards will be announced at the close of the festival at 4 p.m.

The festival has also teamed up The Starlight Foundation who will be organizing a children’s section.
Additional details will be discussed at Tuesday’s conference.

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