A Blast of a Weekend

    With the Montauk Chamber of Commerce’s annual Fall Festival this weekend, the end of summer is now official. And this chamber knows how to send out a season. There will be fireworks by Grucci, a clam chowder contest with over 30 restaurants vying for the title, live music, beer and wine tastings, clams and oysters, German-style food, a farmers market, games, inflatable jumps, face-painting, pumpkin-decorating, crab races, a 30-horse carousel, and more — lots more.
    The fun starts on Saturday with the popular chowder contest at 11 a.m. Be forewarned: the lines start forming much earlier. There will be local food personalities judging the best of the New England and Manhattan blends and a people’s choice award for both. Volunteers will shuck the freshest clams and oysters available. Music will be performed by Nancy Atlas and the Uncle Susie Band from 2 to 5 p.m.
    Later on Saturday, the Atlantic Terrace Motel is sponsoring a fireworks by Grucci display that will start at about 7 p.m. from Umbrella Beach. It will be visible from most of the downtown beaches.
    All features continue on Sunday. The folks from the Montauk Playhouse Community Center will join in, under a tent on the east side of the green, with a huge silent auction, featuring gift certificates for restaurants, motel stays and fishing trips, designer jewelry and handbags, electronic devices, art items, and more. Nearby, there will be entertainment and sports memorabilia for bidding.
    Carnival-type foods, including popcorn, cotton candy, and chocolate goodies, will be offered, and the 3B’s will get listeners jazzed up with their personal style of Montauk rock.
    Gurney’s Inn is offering a weekend special for anyone who would like to stay over, with breakfast and dinner, use of the seawater facilities, and an ocean-view room.
    There are still tickets left for the chamber’s big raffle, with cash prizes up to $20,000. The tickets cost $50 each and will be sold at the festival. The drawing will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday; it is not necessary to be there to win.