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Return of the (chowder) king

By Cameron Small
Hometown Weekly Correspondent

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Medfield Lions Club was able to hold their annual Chowderfest this past Saturday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at The Center at Medfield. Usually all proceeds go to benefit the Friends of Seniors, Inc (FOSI) -- this year, however, the proceeds gained from the raffle will go to Florida as part of relief funds for Hurricane Ira.

Chowder is donated by the restaurant, sampled by the town, and then voted as the best chowder. Local businesses donated prizes for the raffle. This year, chowder was donated by The Avenue, Basil’s Restaurant, Ice House at Kingsbury, Noon Hill Grill, and the Village Griddle -– which also donated oyster crackers.

At 1 p.m., the event started winding down and voting closed early, due to the winner’s donated supply of chowder having run out. Medfield Lions Club member John M was serving from one restaurant, and commented that it was his third slow cooker full of chowder on the day. “People were lining up to come in right at 11,” he said.

The community missed Chowderfest during the COVID years, with many waiting to enter even before doors opened. Changes this year due to pandemic circumstances included how people procured their chowder. Upon paying entry, an aspiring Medfield chowder connoisseur would receive six tickets. They would use five of their tickets to sample the chowder from all of the competing businesses, and their sixth to go back and get a second serving of their favorite chowder. This change was intended to minimize people going up for third or fourth servings -- and to try to ensure that chowder did not run out. 

Medfield Lion and event chairperson Marjorie C was unsure offhand how many people exactly came through to sample the delicious wares. Without going through and totaling the money raised and then dividing by the cost of entry, she would assume a couple hundred people came through to sample all of the chowders. “We asked the businesses to donate four gallons of chowder,” she said. “Next year, we’ll probably have to ask for more.”

A hearty thank you to all the businesses who donated chowder, and raffle prizes; to the Lions club members for organizing and serving the chowder; and to the community for coming out to support FOSI and Hurricane Ira Relief. 

Last but not least, congratulations to The Avenue for winning this year’s Chowderfest.

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