Pizza party Saturday!

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:21 PM

On Saturday, the second-year festival will allow the public to sample pizza from local pizzerias and vote for their favorite, naming that pizzeria the Grand Pizza Fest Grandest Pizza Champ of 2013.

“We have seven pizzerias and a few breweries,” Pizza Fest director Courtney Geurink said. “I do think that the participation from the public will be far greater.”

The festival will be at the Grand Haven Community Center, 421 Columbus Ave., from 12:30-4 p.m.

Participating pizzerias are Clover Bar, Fricano’s Pizza Tavern, Jet’s Pizza, Mr. Scrib’s, Old Boys' Brewhouse, 22 Below and Marco’s Pizza.

Jet’s Pizza representatives said they are excited about the contest after participating in the inaugural event.

“We participated last year to see how we could size up with the rest of the local pizza community in the Grand Haven area,” said Matt George, co-owner of Jet’s Pizza. “We think (the Grand Pizza Fest is) a great opportunity for the community to sample each of the area’s local pizzerias.”

George said the event will also give the businesses involved an opportunity to reach potential new customers.

New this year are local breweries New Holland Brewing, Odd Side Ales and Vander Mill offering the public samples to go with the pizza.

“We’re already showcasing local pizza, and what goes better with pizza than beer,” Geurink posed.

Sample sizes will be 3 ounces, with two flavors from each brewery to try.

Barefoot Sunday, a popular local band, will be playing music throughout the afternoon. 

“The feedback we received last year about Barefoot Sunday was so great, we had to have them back,” Geurink said. “We also had to keep the Pizza Pie Eating Contest, which will take place at 1:45 p.m.”

Jet’s Pizza is sponsoring the eating contest. Participants will compete to finish one of their small deep-dish pizzas. The winner will receive bragging rights, a medal and $20 in Chamber of Commerce Dune Dollars.

“It will be interesting to see who can eat our filling deep-dish pizza the quickest,” George said.

Admission is $10, which includes a sample from each of the seven pizzerias and a voting ballot. A $15 ticket adds three beer samples, but you must be at least 21 years old and an ID is required.

The first 100 attendees to purchase tickets will receive a commemorative Grand Pizza Fest apron.

For details, call the Chamber of Commerce at 616-842-4910 or visit the "GrandPizzaFest" Facebook page.

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