Home Slice Carnival O' Pizza a kid-happy, pie-lover's nirvana
This past weekend, the ever-imaginative Home Slice Pizza transformed a block of South Congress into the frolicking Sixth Annual Carnival O’ Pizza, both anniversary party for this supremely unique pizza joint and a fundraising bash for the Austin Bat Cave.
The buzz was palpable as kids with freshly spray-painted multi-colored hair (thanks to the cool kid salon—only 2 tickets!) tossed their own pizza, threw darts at balloons and jammed out to the likes of hip hop musician Big Don, whose infectious grin made his funky rendition of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" all the more reason to get up and shake it. Even the moms and dads were putting down their slices to dance.
“We like to have the kind of kid party where parents can have a good time, too,” says Joseph Strickland, one of Home Slice's owners. Indeed, this was a carnival that makes dragging your two toddlers out in public actually seem like a fun idea; whether you are two years old or forty, who doesn’t appreciate exceptional pizza, good music and a cute girl dressed up like a giant slice of pie? Especially when it all goes to benefit the non-profit literary center, the Austin Bat Cave?
While I must confess, I left before the winner of the Hands on an Eggplant Sub winner was declared at 2 a.m. (this year, the winner only lasted hand-on-sub for seven hours as opposed to last year’s 60-something), I did get to witness the upset in the Pizza Eating Contest. Both the reigning champ and his main contender were out-pizza’d by competitive extreme nosher, Randy Harrison, who shoveled more slices down his pie hole in thirty minutes than his wide-girthed rivals. This particular event drew such a crowd that I couldn’t get close enough to see Harrison’s face, but I’m sure he was in the kind of pure pizza bliss that you can only get while being cheered on by fans for your well-purposed gluttony—at the Carnival O’ Pizza.