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Inaugural Boston Pizza Festival This Weekend

Two dozen pizza makers from around the world at City Hall Plaza


Americans have a love affair with pizza. Just consider the numbers: we eat about three billion pizzas annually (roughly $38 billion worth) and the average American consumes 23 pounds of the savory pie a year.

With that in mind, this weekend’s first-ever Boston Pizza Festival at City Hall Plaza should draw some pretty substantial crowds.

The two-day event is Saturday, July 8, and Sunday, July 9, noon to 10 p.m., at City Hall Plaza, and will feature two dozen pizza makers from around the world, among them local stalwarts Regina Pizzeria, UpperCrust Pizzeria, and Oath Craft Pizza.

But this isn’t just a pizza-tasting affair: you can take in pizza acrobatics displays by World Pizza Champion acrobat Danilo Pagano and talk-show favorites 12- and 10-year-old Michael and Nicholas Testa, pizza-making seminars (for kids and adults) at the outdoor demo kitchen, and live music. Those 21+ can buy beer and wine to wash down all those pies.

Fourth-generation master pizzaiolo Paolo Surace, of Naples, will teach the proper way to make a real Neapolitan pizza, and Pasquale Cozzolino, the executive chef of Ribalta NYC, will discuss the pizza diet he created, allowing him to lose 100 pounds. Also in attendance will be two members of the US Pizza Team, which competes in international events each year: Gino Rago of Chicago’s Panino’s Pizzeria and Michael P. LaMarca, owner of the Master Pizza franchise in Cleveland.

Festival tickets ($15, presale general admission, five and under free; $50, presale VIP, comes with an hour earlier—11 a.m.—admission, better seating at seminars, free samples for the first hour, access to a private bar, and a VIP gift bag) can be purchased online here. Prices are regulated, so patrons can sample several pizzerias without breaking the bank. Tickets are good for one day only, and the event is rain or shine.

The Boston Pizza Festival is at City Hall Plaza, One City Hall Square, just steps from the Government Center T stop, Saturday and Sunday, July 8 and 9, noon (11 a.m. for VIP ticketholders) to 10 p.m. No pets are allowed at the festival, and the event is open to all ages. Find more information here.

Taylor Raglin can be reached at traglin@bu.edu.

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