Dining With Denise Neil

ICT Pizza Fest will feature slices galore and a dough-tossing demo

This weekend’s ICT Pizza Fest, a pizza-sampling party planned for Saturday, is being put on by the same people responsible for Taco Fest.

But it won’t have any of the organizational problems that Wichita Taco Fest did, organizers say. They learned from that event, which was unable to accommodate all the people it drew when it happened in June, and they think they’ve corrected all the problems.

And did they mention they’ll have lots of pizza?

“A lot of people are probably questioning it because of Taco Fest,” said Debbie Botefur, who does marketing for organizer FestiveICT. “But we are so organized. We are just hoping everything goes great.”

Pizza Fest is a new event scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday Wichita Area Technical College campus, 4004 N. Webb Road. It will offer attendees slices of pizza from local pizza restaurants for $1 apiece.

It also will have a beer and wine garden, competitions, a dough-tossing demonstration, music, games for kids and a static display of airplanes.

Organizers have signed up 13 restaurant participants: Pizza Hut, The Rail, LMNO pizza, Papa John’s AJ’s Sports & Bar Grill, Magoo’s, Domino’s, Marco’s, Gambino’s, Heroes, Old Chicago and Papa Murphy’s. Kolace Dough Co. & Eatery, which will open at Tyler Pointe in December, also is participating.

Each restaurant will prepare pizzas on the spot that will be baked in donated ovens, so people will get their pizza hot and fresh, Botefur said.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, or there’s a family and friends bundle that admits three people for $25. Children ages 5 and under will get in free. People also can get admission tickets the day of the event for $15.

Pre-sale ticket holders will get one free slice of pizza, and every slice they want to sample after that is $1. Those who purchase tickets at the door will pay $1 per slice. The slices aren’t wimpy, either, Botefur said. The restaurants all will distribute full-sized slices.

Organizers are taking several steps to prevent repeating their Taco Fest mistakes, Botefur said. First, they’ve limited the number of tickets they’re selling so the event doesn’t get overcrowded.

They also will have separate entrances for people who bought tickets in advance and people who are buying them at the door. Taco Fest had everyone in the same long lines, causing congestion. They’re also spreading out the food vendors. Some will be inside an airplane hangar, others will be set up outside of it.

Organizers also are providing seating. People should bring cash to buy pizza and drinks.

A panel of judges, including me, will choose the best pizza maker of the day.

ICT Pizza Fest

What: A pizza tasting event

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Wichita Area Technical College, 4004 N. Webb Road

Tickets: $10 individual tickets and $25 family and friend bundles of three are available for advance purchase through Friday night at all MobileComm stores or online at www.ictpizzafest.com. Tickets the day of the event are $15.

More information: www.ictpizzafest.com

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