It's a cold day, but thousands people hit the streets of Saratoga Springs on Saturday afternoon to enjoy some warm chowder at Chowderfest. YNN's Madeleine Rivera was there and has more on the crowd.
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- "Can you think of a better way to warm up?" we asked Richard Chmonsky.
"I can't really. You have some chowder. You might slip in for a glass of wine somewhere," he said.
Chmonsky has been going to Saratoga Springs' annual Chowderfest for six years to enjoy.
"A different kind of chowder, the competition and of course the crowd," he said.
That crowd, which grew from 20,000 last year.
"The chowder's good," said one attendee.
"Hattie's always has fabulous chowder and Cantina. And last year, they sold out five people before me, so I'm determined to get there before it's gone," said Georgana Hanson.
Maestro's chef owner, John LaPosta, said, "We bring lots of people to town and we're just having a great time."
For the chefs, some of the fun comes from making the chowder recipe. Sean Comiskui from Druther's began working on his recipe six months ago and they've come up with this: 200 gallons of smoked lobster chowder.
"We had fun. We played. We had a good time with it," said Comiskui.
A good time that one event organizer says is also good for the local economy.
"The restaurants and bar owners really appreciate the added boost in their shops and restaurants," said Todd Garofano, President of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau.
A win-win situation for customers and restaurants.
Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 Chowderfest:
Best On Broadway - Druthers
Best Off Broadway - Seven Horse Pub
Best Non Downtown - Longfellows
Best Newcomer - Druthers
People's Choice - Seven Horse Pub
Best Dessert - Ben & Jerry's
Most Chowder Served - Parting Glass
People's Choice under 1,000 bowls Served - The Local Pub