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Montauk’s 38th Annual Fall Family Festival and Chowder Contest sponsored by Montauk Chamber of Commerce, returns October 12 to 13 on Columbus Day Weekend. It draws hundreds of visitors and East Enders each year to downtown and throughout Montauk. The Fall Festival is the chamber’s major annual fundraiser since 1981.
New this year is a special appearance by actor Dwier Brown of the movie “Field of Dreams.” Brown plays Kevin Costner’s father who materializes as a young man and baseball catcher after “Shoeless Joe’s” famous line, “If you build it, He will come.” Father and son reconnect, throw around a ball and Costner calls him “Dad,” for the first time. Brown will sign autographs (there is a charge), pose for photographs and have a catch with individuals.
“Our autumn festival marks another pleasing season to experience Montauk’s natural treasures, restaurants, hotels and shops,” says Laraine Creegan, the chamber’s executive director.
The chowder contest starts at 11 a.m. and involves the purchase of a mug (sold at the chamber a day before and on the day of the event) to taste clam chowder donated by Montauk restaurants and ladled until they run out. Food personalities judge the best New England and Manhattan chowders. Winners are announced at 3 p.m. that day on the Chamber’s Facebook page and posted at www.montaukchamber.com.
Children’s activities include a free 30-horse carousel, inflatable rides, rock climbing wall, face painting, pumpkin decorating, street painting, crab races, and more. There is live music by Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks on Saturday and the 3B’s on Sunday. On sale are raffles, Oktoberfest style food, chowder, Long Island wines and beer. The Farmers Market is open on both days. There is a Sports Auction on Saturday and Sunday and a Chinese Auction on Sunday all under the tent. Montauk Chamber's annual Cash Catch drawing for up to $20,000 is held at the close of the festival at 4:30 pm.
The Chamber encourages visitors from the west to leave their cars and take a free Hampton Jitney at stops in Southampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton and Amagansett to Montauk. (Reservations are required, call the Jitney at 631-283-4600.)
Proceeds from the festival are donated, in part, to local not-for-profits such as the Montauk Food Pantry, the July 4th and Fall Fireworks Fund, the Frank Cappozola Scholarship Fund and others.
Montauk Chamber of Commerce is a member business organization dedicated to providing community leadership for the development of and sustaining a sound economy, primarily through responsible tourism, for Montauk, NY. It provides leadership in the creation of constructive community action and a forum for the exchange of ideas and information for the betterment and care of the hamlet.