Friday night in Niagara Falls was bedlam, covered in a healthy dose of sauce and cheese.
At the Festival of Slice, three Falls pizzerias claimed awards among stiff competition: Joey's Pizzeria, at 8707 Buffalo Ave., won Best Cheese Slice; Grandma D's, 2500 Niagara Falls Blvd., earned Best Specialty Slice with its Stinger Ringer; and Leon's Italian Bistro, 8890 Porter Road, snagged the People's Choice award for its dill pickle pizza.
The inaugural event reached capacity quickly, with several local pizza vendors exhausting their inventory with more than an hour left in the event. The overall reaction was a blend of excitement and hope for future iterations of the event - with some organizational tweaks - but also frustration over long lines, the small venue and lack of enough pizza to last the duration of the fest.
Among the other pizza vendors with a presence at the festival were DiCamillo Bakery, Broadway Pizza, Donatello's, Casa Antica and Sammy's Pizzeria. Each participant offered a party-sized cheese slice and a specialty option; all slices were $1 for attendees.
The Festival of Slice coincided with the dawn of Jingle Falls, the annual slew of holiday activities in the area, as well as the Gingerbread Wonderland, a sweet scene on the second floor of the culinary institute. See a full gallery of Smiles, here.
See a considerable amount of reaction from those in attendance on the Facebook event page here, and get a sense of the overall crowd in News 4's Chris Horvatits' tweet, below, among other reactions.
So happy I was asked to be a judge for the Festival of Slice in Niagara Falls tonight. Some of the best pizzas in WNY in this room! pic.twitter.com/5R9c0UGSIl
— Chris Horvatits (@ChrisHorvatits4) November 30, 2018