Pizza Fest to serve up huge slice of fun

Pizza Fest logo<a href=""> Special to American Press </a>

<p class="p1">It started as an offhand remark, one of those “What if?” ideas uttered between friends.

<p class="p3">But over the years the thought of hosting a pizza festival downtown took on a life of its own, and soon they were setting the date, said event cofounder Colton Schexneider.

<p class="p3">The newest addition to the Lake Charles festival scene, Pizza Fest will take over the parking lot behind Sloppy’s Downtown 4-10 p.m. Saturday, April 21, with live music, art vendors, drinks and — of course — plenty of pizza.

<p class="p3">Four pizza vendors will be on hand: Mellow Mushroom, Sloppy’s, CiCi’s and On the Rocks. Schexneider said slices ranging from downright “crazy” to “Plain Jane” will be available for $3 each, or five slices with a $10 wristband.

<p class="p3">Vendors will compete for best slice. Attendees will also have the chance to participate in a pizza-eating contest.

<p class="p3">A live artist will create an original mural on a plywood installment outside, and pizza-themed art by students at McNeese State University will be displayed in Sloppy’s, where an after-party will immediately follow the event.

<p class="p3">After working in the local nightlife scene for several years as co-owner of Neon Natives, Schexneider and business partner Casi Walters wanted to put on a daytime event that families could attend together.

<p class="p3">“When we first started doing shows all of our friends were young and partied,” he said. “Now all of our friends have families, so we wanted to do something they can bring their kids to and still have fun.”

<p class="p3">He said the music, mostly local bands with some exceptions, will be family friendly. The bands are Zach Edwards, Madhatter, Bear, Paws teh Cat, The Quadroholics, Team Theory, The Cards, Docta Z, Mar, Seth Mardis, Mr. Fahrenheit and Tsora.

<p class="p3">Brett Stutes, owner of Sloppy’s and a partner in Pizza Fest, said he hopes the event grows to include more vendors and more people each year. 

<p class="p3">“I think it’s going to work,” Stutes said. “There’s a lot of buzz about it right now. As long as you’ve got alcohol and some music and some food and some bathrooms, you’ve got a festival.”

<p class="p3">Schexneider said he hopes the event earns a name for itself alongside local festivals like Louisiana Pirate Festival and Chuck Fest.

<p class="p4">For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.