Home Slice's 2011 Carnival-O-Pizza nothing but fun-raising for Austin Bat Cave
Y'all know about the Carnival-O-Pizza, right? The rocking Anniversary party of South Congress staple Home Slice Pizza?
Each year, 'round the same weekend, the good folks at Home Slice pick an Austin area charity and throw an awesome fiesta in the midway between their two stores (Home Slice and next-door More Slice) featuring live music, carnival games, raffle prizes, and fun all day long.
Besides having a great time, all the proceeds raised from the raffle ticket sales and the silent auction will be donated to The Austin Bat Cave, the nonprofit creative writing and tutoring center that promotes an early love of reading and writing in Austin area youth. The big prizes from the silent auction follow this literary leaning, so the writerly types will be especially interested in these offers.
This year, the prizes in the silent auction include a round-trip ticket to San Francisco to have lunch with McSweeney's owner and author, Dave Eggers. You can also have writer George Saunders read and edit a story you've written and provide his feedback over the phone. Or you can have the Austin Bat Cave's adult storytelling show, The Story Department, come do a private show at your home on the theme of your choice.
Raffle prizes include stays at the W Hotel, Hotel Saint Cecilia and the Hotel San Jose, as well as dinner packages at Perla's, Vespaio and Guero's. Movie tickets from the Alamo Drafthouse and from Violet Crown Cinema are also available. One lucky winner will win a SXSW Interactive Badge. Raffle tickets are just $5.00 apiece, and there is no limit to how many you can buy.
"We’ve already begun raising money by selling raffle tickets in our stores,” says Home Slice co-owner and Austin Bat Cave board member Jen Strickland. “This money is going directly toward programs that help kids improve their writing skills and publishes their personal stories, which creates so much satisfaction and self esteem.”
Austin Bat Cave Executive Director Manuel Gonzalez agrees. "There’s no better way to highlight the creativity we inspire in the kids via our writing workshops than by teaming up with them for this ridiculously super-creative day of family fun.” To showcase the creativity of the students' writing, some of the young authors will be sharing their work on stage at the Carnival.
As the restaurant's popularity grows, the Carnival gets bigger and better with every year—and this year is no exception. With nearly 80 sponsors, like title sponsor RetailMeNot.com, donating impressively awesome prizes to the raffle and the silent auction, the day is extending later into the evening, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., for a total of nine delicious hours of fun.
That also means more bands, like Austin's outlaw country favorites, Crooks, and performers like the Flying Balalaika Brothers and dance troupe Little Stolen Moments. Rumor has it the 40-person Minor Mishap Marching Band will also be forming a grand parade throughout the midway sometime during the day.
Pizza-related contests are also a big part of the day. Civilians are welcome to compete against local pizza chefs from Hoboken Pie, Southside Flying Pizza and Home Slice in the pizza box folding contest (1 p.m.), the pizza dough tossing contest (2 p.m.) and the half hour pizza eating contest (5 p.m.). If 30 minutes of endorsed gluttony sounds like heaven to you, you'll want to sign up on their website right away.
One of the biggest draws of the Carnival is the Hands on an Eggplant Sub Contest (starting at 3:15 p.m.), where competitors try to outlast one another by staying on their feet with their hands on an otherwise delicious giant sandwich. With only two-minute bathroom breaks every couple of hours. The prize? Free Home Slice pizza for the next year. Thinking about it, that could mean a savings of well over the price of a new car. Last year, the stalwart winner lasted over 60 hours.
If it sounds like the best way you can possibly spend your Saturday afternoon and evening, you're probably right. We'll be there all day long, emceeing all the excitement in our best sequined attire. Come say hello, grab a slice and wish Home Slice a happy birthday!