It's been called the biggest event on Long Beach Island: Chowderfest! And it returns this weekend.

2012 LBI Chowderfest t-shirt (Southern Ocean Chamber Of Commerce)

Now in it's 24th year, the celebration brings out thousands from across the state to celebrate the official end of summer on LBI. You can enjoy unlimited chowder tasting, live music, children's entertainment, a food court and many more surprises. The event will be held rain or shine at the Taylor Avenue ball field in Beach Haven - directly across from Schooner's Wharf and Bay Village.

Lori Pepenella with the Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce says it kicks off with a free merchant mart on Saturday before the big festival Sunday. She says "there's something to do for all ages and best of all, you get to judge the chowder cook off contest. The event is nestled in an area surrounded by beautiful views of the bay and discounted shopping."

Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for children age 4-12. VIP tickets are $50 and include a T-shirt and early admission at 10AM. Click for additional information.