Dining With Denise Neil

Taco Fest organizers moving their ICT Pizza Fest to high-profile Wichita spot

The ICT Pizza Fest will return for its second year in August.
The ICT Pizza Fest will return for its second year in August.

Riding high on the success of its Wichita Taco Fest, which drew big crowds to Lawrence-Dumont Stadium a few weeks ago, a group called Festive ICT is ready to talk about its other big food party: ICT Pizza Fest.

The event, now in its second year, is scheduled for next month, and this year, it’s moving to a high-profile new location: Exploration Place.

The event, which allows people to sample slices from pizza restaurants across the city, is scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25, and it’ll take place on Exploration Place’s outdoor Festival Plaza.

The event will be set up similar to Taco Fest: People who buy a $10 admission ticket will be able to sample slices for $2 a slice once inside. Last year, festival organizers signed up 13 local participants, and I got to sample them all as a judge. LMNO Pizza, a little outfit out of Mount Hope, was our pick for Best Slice, though we also sampled pizza from places like Heroes, Old Chicago and AJ’s Sports Bar & Grill.

The event also will include other food items plus beer, wine and contests including a dough-tossing competition. There will be yard games, giveaways and live music from Rudy Love Jr. and Rudy Love Sr.

The group is selling only 3,000 tickets, and the first 500 are available for $5. After those are gone, advance tickets will be $10. Those who wait until the day of the event will pay $15. Tickets are on sale now at ictpizzafest.com and all Mobilecomm locations.

The first ICT Pizza Fest happened on a rainy Saturday last November on the campus of Wichita Area Technical College, but this year, organizers are moving to a warmer date and a more central location.

Fans expressed concern last year that it would be difficult for restaurants to serve fresh slices, but each restaurant prepared pizzas on the spot that were baked in donated ovens, and everything came out hot and fresh.

I’ll let you know when this year’s vendor lineup is firm.

Pizza Hut co-founder Dan Carney talks about the first days of the original Pizza Hut during a grand opening ceremony of the Pizza Hut Museum at Wichita State University. (April 25, 2018)

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