Chowder Festival for humans, Chow Down for dogs to be staged downtown on Saturday

The 18th Annual Chowderfest will be held Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.in downtown Saratoga Springs. Visitors can pick up a ballot from any participating business and taste chowders from over 80 participating establishments and vote for their favorite.  Each sample of chowder is $1 a cup (3 oz. serving), and is paid directly to the establishment.  Valid ballots can be turned in to the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center (11-4 p.m) or the lobby of The Saratoga Hilton (11-4 p.m) or votes may be made online at DiscoverSaratoga.org/Chowderfest. An interactive map of Chowderfest locations may be fund here: http://www.jimapco.com/maproom/discoversaratoga/

Official long-sleeve T-shirts will be available for $10. (2XL shirts are $12). Winners will be announced inside the Saratoga Springs Visitor Center at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Free bus shuttle service will be available 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from the Wilton Mall (at the park & ride near Dick's Sporting Goods store) to the post office downtown. Shuttles will also run from the Saratoga Casino and Raceway at the Crescent Ave. entrance at the CDTA/MegaBus parking area (look for signs) to Congress Park.

The Dog Chow Down (not to overstate the obvious, but this is for dogs) will take place at 1 p.m. at the Saratoga Downtowner Motel.

Organizers say more than 30,000 people attended Chowderfest last year and more than 115,000 samples of chowder were served.