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Clam Chowder Cook-Off

Colorful Sea Swings Ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Cook-Off - Reimagined

The tradition continues at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
Clam Chowder Cups

SANTA CRUZ, CA (February 2, 2021) – Tickets are now available for the 40th Annual Santa Cruz Clam Chowder Festival. For 2021, the Nation’s longest-running clam chowder competition is a drive-through event at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s River Parking Lot on Saturday, February 20. Tasting tickets are limited and are only available for pre-purchase at

"The Clam Chowder Cook-Off is a special tradition in Santa Cruz and an event many people circle on their calendar each year." said Karley Pope, Director of Promotions and Sales for the Boardwalk.  "We are thrilled to continue our 40-year partnership with Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation and reimagine the cook-off with a COVID safe and fun concept."

Tasting ‘flights’ are $12 each and must be purchased online in advance. All chowders will be Boston Clam Chowder from popular Santa Cruz County restaurants. These tasting ‘flights’ consist of 6 chowders from different restaurants. Guests can enjoy the chowder in the safety of their car, in the park’s parking lot, their home, or weather permitting, on Santa Cruz Main Beach.

The winners of the Clam Chowder Cook-Off will be determined by the public's online votes and by a team of veteran clam chowder cook-off judges. Last year's professional winners included Ideal Bar & Grill, East Side Eatery, and UCSC Chowder Slugs. Among this year's participants are Jack O’Neill Lounge, East Side Eatery, Makai Island Kitchen, Coastal Foods Company, New Leaf, Malone’s Grille, and Seabright Deli.

Last year the event raised $81,000 for valuable Parks and Recreation Department programs. The popular event has raised over $1.5 million since it started in 1981.

A selection of food for outdoor dining and take-out, shopping locations, and beach access are open on weekends and holidays at the Boardwalk. Rides, arcades, midway games, and miniature golf remain closed due to COVID‑19 restrictions.

For more information, please visit

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