Twenty-four area restaurants will be featured this Saturday in a Chowdafest IV competition at Bedford Middle School, 88 North Ave. The fest is planned from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is sponsored by volunteers from the Unitarian Church to benefit the Connecticut Food Bank.

Just one day before the Super Bowl, the football-themed contest will showcase about 30 different soups, bisques and chowders, according to a Chowdafest news release.

Adults and kids in attendance will have a chance to sample the entrees and then choose their favorites by official ballot in three categories: traditional New England clam, creative chowders and soups/bisques. Kids will also receive free chef hats to decorate, stickers and temporary tattoos.

Local competitors will include Dunville's of Westport, Cactus Rose of Wilton, Boathouse at Saugatuck, Brewhouse in Norwalk, Crab Shell in Stamford and Super Duper Weenie Dog in Fairfield.

The event will introduce a new award this year -- the critic's choice award recognizing the overall best entry decided by the chefs themselves, the release states. Tickets cost $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $2 for children under 12. Proceeds from the event will go to the food bank.

Donations of non-perishable food items for the food bank will also be accepted. Those who cannot attend may send a monetary donation to Connecticut Food Bank c/o Chowdafest, 10 Lyons Plain Road Westport, CT 06880.

For information, visit www.chowdafest.org or email event chairperson Jim Keenan at chowdafest@optonline.net.