Local pizza vendors on Friday arrived in Uptown Park Ridge for the city's first Pizza Fest. Patrons enjoyed some dry, cool weather for sampling slices until a rain burst sent some scattering around 6:30 p.m.
Pizza Fest is a two-day affair, sponsored by the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce, that was created around the idea of pizza, music and fun.
Pizza vendors lined Summit Avenue, near the Metra station. Also present were jewelry sellers and dessert vendors. There were some carnival games, and live ponies took children for rides in the Metra station's north parking lot.
Chris Petit of Park Ridge came out to try one of the vendors – Beggars Pizza.
"I've seen advertisements for it, so I wanted to try it," Petit said. "It's pretty darn good too – great crust and cheese."
Nearby, Danial Lamben, head chef at Caponie's Trattoria in Chicago, said he hoped to sell at least 400 oven-roasted cheese or sausage pizzas during the course of the fest's two days.
"I think the fest looks pretty good," Lamben said. "We do a lot of fests a year."
Friday's music line up included Diving for Dynamite, and Foghat, best known for is 1970s hit "Slow Ride."
The fest continues from noon to 11 p.m. Saturday where patrons will find more pizza and more music. The band line up is: noon – Serendipity; 1:30 p.m. Dario's Dueling Pianos; 3:30 p.m. Imposter Radio; 5:45 p.m. Jacktripper; and 8:15 p.m. Daryl Stuermer of Genesis.
The chamber is asking fest patrons to donate $5 to get into the pizza area that's cordoned off. This food fest doesn't require tickets for pizza; instead, it's cash sales. Patrons also can purchase beer at the event.