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Essex Clam Fest

For more than 30 years, Essex Clamfest has celebrated the bivalve that helped put the town on the foodie map as the birthplace of the fried clam. The event features dozens of vendors, activities, and music, but the festival’s highlight is the chowder tasting contest, in which restaurants compete for the titles of best clam chowder. A panel of judges will crown the winner of the judges’ choice category, but festival attendees can get in on the action, too. For just a few bucks, festival goers can sample chowders from all of the participating contest entrants and vote for their favorites to crown the People’s Choice Award winner. This year’s event will be held Saturday, October 25.

Shepard Memorial Park, 24 Martin St., Essex, 978-283-1601



Haunted Happenings

Each year Salem holds a ghoulish month-long festival in October to celebrate the scariest holiday on the calendar—Halloween! Parades, costume balls, and haunted house tours are all part of the fun!