Carnival O’ Pizza 2012 Wrap Up!

Posted in Carnival O' Pizza by robhomeslice on December 4, 2012

The 7th Annual Carnival O’ Pizza has come and gone, and as usual we packed just about as much fun as we could possibly have into 7 hours.  There were contests, games, dancers, marching bands, artists, countless activities, and of course…. PIZZA!!  While just about everyone who came through the midway had the pleasure of enjoying a slice or two, there were a handful of folks who got just a little bit more full than the rest.

eating contest

Contestants begin their quest to win free pizza for a year.

The Extreme Pizza Eating contest proved to be just as heated and disgusting as usual, and in a twist of fate, we actually had our very first tie!

Yes, history was made as Chris “Chompy” Floyd and Randy Harrison consumed exactly the same amount (almost 2 large pizzas) in 30 minutes, resulting in both guys receiving the sweet reward of free pizza for a year!  This is Randy’s second consecutive victory, and an incredible 5th title for Chompy!!

Co Champ Chris Floyd celebrates

Co Champ Chris ” Chompy” Floyd celebrates

In a slightly less slobbery spectacle, pizza makers from local pizzerias squared off against our kitchen crew in challenges to throw not only the largest pizzas, but to make pizzas as quickly as possible.  Taking the cake (ahem… pie) in this year’s size competition was Sergio from Austin’s Little Deli throwing a pie that was an incredible 38.5 inches in diameter, way to go Sergio!!  In the blinding speed competition, Rockland from Austin’s Mellow Mushroom took down his competitors throwing 3 pies in an incredible 58 seconds!

tossing contest

The Dough Contest heats up as Colby from Mellow Mushroom and Wilver from Home Slice square off.

As the evening cooled down, the competition heated up as the masters of endurance in our Hands on an Eggplant Sub (HOES) contest powered through the day.  People came and went, bands played, dough was thrown, massive amounts of pizza was consumed, and the constant throughout the entire day was a small group of die-hards holding onto a 3-foot eggplant sub for dear life.  In a shorter contest than years past, Chad Garyet took home the title as the last person standing after just over 16 hours.  Chad is the proud recipient of a year’s worth of free pies, and has quickly become Home Slice’s most eligible dinner mate.

HOES in full battle

HOES in full battle

The finale of the day was our grand prize raffle drawing.  Among countless prizes raffled throughout the day, one lucky person became the most eligible dinner mate (sorry, Chad forgot you have a girlfriend) at Home Slice.  Pacifico Gouge became the only person on earth who can make a reservation at Home Slice this year.  Unfortunately, kids, we can’t share his digits with you, but if you see him out and about, you may want to buy him a drink or something.

reservations winner

Pacifico Gouge receives the grand prize, being crowned the sole person who can make reservations at Home Slice.

While we crowned many champions at the Carnival, the real winners of the day were the kids supported by our awesome charity, Austin Bat Cave.  We are so proud to say that the Carnival O’ Pizza raised 19,000 dollars to help this incredible organization.  The efforts put forth by the ABC team to help kids are mind-blowing, and we are truly honored to play a small role in the wonderful things that they do.

fun now bat cave

Austin Bat Cave is a non-profit organization that provides creative writing opportunities for youngsters in Austin.

Of course, the Carnival would never be possible without our sponsors:

StagLogo   dublinbottlingworks-1  uship-logo-colorGCO-000-CMYK-bl-rd   mcjlogo   RABC

And most importantly, none of this happens without all of you, and your incredible dedication to Home Slice and your community.  We are sincerely humbled and grateful beyond words to serve you.  Until next year, keep your parm shakers high and your wine glasses full!!!!

-RB

Photos c/o Amanda Elmore of Girlskill.

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Carnival 2012 Entertainment and Events Schedule!

Posted in Carnival O' Pizza by robhomeslice on November 8, 2012

What’s up Homies, as you know, the Carnival is going down on Saturday November 10th at Home Slice!  You might be wondering, “What even happens at this ‘Carnival’ thing I keep hearing about?”  Well, friends, wonder no more, here’s the run-down of the day’s contests and entertainment.  Come on down on Saturday, its going to be a blast!!

  • Gigantic Grand Prize Raffle Drawing  (6:30 pm)

History of H.O.E.S.

Posted in Carnival O' Pizza by Joseph on November 17, 2011

We know that since last year’s Hands on an Eggplant Sub contest went 63 hours,  the prospect of entering this year’s must seem pretty daunting.  We thought we’d put together a brief history of the contest so you realize it doesn’t have to be that hard.

Here are some highlights from the last 5 years:

2006 – Lasted 14 hours – called at 3:30am by us as a tie – we simply did NOT expect anyone to last that long and were unprepared to monitor through the night.  The prize that year was the most amazing thing Apple had ever invented:  the iPod Nano.  Since it was a tie, both winners got one.

The weather was below freezing and neighborhood folk were by their side through the night, throwing 100 dollar bills and 50’s their way in hopes of talking them in to giving up.  They both had friends bring them sleeping bags and used jars to relieve themselves.  Back then we didn’t announce the contest before hand so they signed up on the spot on a whim.

2007 – 31 hours – This was the last year of no bathroom breaks.  The final 2 contestants reached the point where neither could hold it any longer so they made a truce to share the prize.  They simultaneously both took their hands off and peed their respective pants.  The prize?  The appropriately named Nintendo Wii.

Little did they know we would make them come back to do a Home Slice “trivia off” in front of a packed restaurant to break the tie. The winner was a man named Dimitri.  We think he hocked the Wii.

2008 – 7 hours – Seth Mazow won by sheer luck.  Says Seth on his Year of the Pizza blog.:  “The first competitor was a high school kid who dropped out when his mom picked him up, the second thought it would last for days and gave up because she wanted to go to a play the next day.  Sonia, the fiercest of the bunch was in it for the long haul, but in one regrettable moment accidentally took her hand off the sub to readjust her blankets, thus forfeiting”.   The prize was 1 year of free pizza.

2009 – 30.5 hours – Seth Mazow won again this time by sheer skill and preparedness.  Erin (his fiancee) was the runner up.  They both came prepared to win, according to Seth they had “layers of warm clothes, logo’d stress mats to stand on, sleeping bags to huddle in and had dehydrated bodies”.  They secured another year of free pizza for them both.

2008 runner up Sonia missed the contest because we told her the wrong start time for the contest:(

One other thing of note from that year was that in the middle of the freezing, rainy night, a seemingly drunk driver in an SUV jumped the curb and sped directly towards all of the HOES,  knocking over a stanchion and velvet rope before coming to a stop mere inches from them.  NOT ONE of the competitors took their hands off the sub, despite their impending doom.  The Competitor closest to the SUV, Giselle, is now one of our beloved employees.

2010 – 63 hours – yes…you are correct…pure insanity!  We were certainly not expecting that.

We introduced Sponsor a H.O.E., in which the contestants had to be sponsored to compete by their friends and family.   Sonia came back again and again she showed the determination and grit that served her so well in 2008.  This time she was up against an equally determined Lauren Shugart.  As the contest stretched into its 3rd morning and  Fox 7 prepared for a live shot, Sonia accidentally removed her hand and Lauren was crowned the winner.

For you potential 2011 H.O.E.S., rest assured that we here at Home Slice will be doing everything in our power to make sure it never goes this long again.  Not to take anything away from the respect we have for the amazing group that made it further than anyone, before but we don’t want to get anyone hurt!

2011 – ???

Since apparently Lauren and Sonia’s amazing feat from 2010 has discouraged anyone from giving it a try in 2011, we have decided to add a new twist:  we are going to allow contestants to raise money DURING the contest.  It will work like this:

  • Contestants will be able to reach out to their network online using social media/email etc… to raise money online while keeping a hand on the sub.
  • Bathroom breaks are 5 minutes every 10 hours; the top earner at each break will receive an extra minute for each $50 they have raised.

Sound good?  Apply now.

RetailMeNot.com to Sponsor the Carnival Ya’ll!

Posted in Carnival O' Pizza by Joseph on November 8, 2011


We are psyched to announce our title sponsor for the 2011 Carnival O Pizza is Austin’s own RetailMeNot.com.  These guys are lending their financial support to the festivities.  With their help (and yours) we should totally be able to exceed our goal of breaking last year’s record and raising over 15k for our deserving charity, Austin Bat Cave.

Full press release to follow.  Stay tuned for tons more exciting announcements this week (there are a few gems below for you careful readers.)

Austin’s RetailMeNot.com partners with Home Slice Pizza to Raise Money for the Austin Bat Cave’s Writing Program for Youth

AUSTIN, Texas – November 2, 2011 – With the holiday shopping season nearly upon us, you’d think that online coupon giant RetailMeNot would have their hands full helping millions of consumers get more for their money. But the local startup jumped at the chance to join forces with Home Slice Pizza to be the lead sponsor and host the 6th annual Carnival O Pizza, the proceeds from which will go to support the Austin Bat Cave, inspired provider of creative and expository writing programs for kids aged 8-18.

“As we continue to grow our business as the largest online coupon marketplace in the world right here in Austin, we’re committed to supporting the needs of our community and local businesses that enable us to be a local success story” said Cotter Cunningham, CEO of WhaleShark Media, parent of RetailMeNot.com. “We are pleased to sponsor the Carnival and support a charity like the Austin Bat Cave and hope our neighbors will stop by our booth and learn more about our company.  We encourage local businesses to post their coupons to our site for free; and we are always looking for local talent to join our organization.”

“We’re super excited about the Carnival and our partnership with RetailmeNot.com.  In fact 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. It really opens a doorway into a better life.”

The Carnival is at once a celebration of the art of hand tossed pizza, a sixth birthday party for the restaurant, and a charitable endeavor intended to give back to the community that has made Home Slice one of Austin’s favorite eateries. The event, which takes place Saturday, November 19, 2011 in the parking lot between Home Slice Pizza and More Home Slice, will feature wacky pizza themed contests, carnival games, entertainment, and many chances to win amazing prizes via both a raffle and a silent auction.  All proceeds directly benefit the Austin Bat Cave.

Highlights of the event include:

  • Pizza Eating Contest in which 10 carefully chosen contestants vie to win free pizza for a year.
  • Hands on an Eggplant (H.O.E.S) contest wherein the combatants place a hand on a Home Slice eggplant sub and leave it there for as long as they can.  Last person touching the sub wins free pizza for a year.  (Last’s year’s contest went 63 hours!!!)
  • Dough tossing contest where local pizzerias including Hoboken Pies, Southside Flying Pizza, and Saccones compete against Home Slice pizzaioli for the largest stretch, fastest stretch and fastest box fold.
  • Live music from Crooks, Big Don, Flying Balalaika Brothers, Residual Kid, Minor Mishap Marching Band and more.
  • Dance performances by Little Stolen Moments and ATX All Stars.  Magic show by Black Bert.  MC rocked by the good folks from The Encyclopedia Show
  • Live graffiti art installation by Austin’s best spray can wizards.
  • Carnival midway featuring tons of silly stuff for the kiddos of all ages.
  • Amazing Raffle: win prizes from RetailMeNot.com, Hotel San Jose, Hotel St.Cecilia, Alamo Drafthouse, Stag, Shiner Beer, and close to a hundred more Austin businesses.
  • (Mostly) Silent auction:  Dave Eggers will have lunch with you, author George Saunders will critique your writing,and much more.

About Austin Bat Cave:

Austin Bat Cave is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides children and teenagers (ages 6-18) with opportunities to develop their creative and expository writing skills. They connect a diverse population of young writers and learners with a vibrant community of adult volunteers in Austin. All of their programs are free.

ABC understands that public school teachers are the hardest-working people in town. With all their programs, they strive to be a resource, mobilizing volunteers to help teachers accomplish what they might not be able to accomplish on their own

About the Carnival O’ Pizza and Home Slice Pizza:

 

The idea for the carnival came from a desire to create an uniquely Austin version of a mix of Coney Island, the San Gennaro Festival in New York’s Little Italy, and co-owners Jen Strickland and Terri Hannifin’s childhood memories of block carnivals in support of various charities. Home Slice’s carnival continues in this tradition of grassroots, makeshift neighborhood carnivals but augments it with events that celebrate the art of hand-tossed pizza, and also serves a birthday party for Home Slice itself and its mascot, Slicey, who turns 6 years old this year.

 

Home Slice Pizza is an independent neighborhood pizza joint serving authentic NY-style pizza – by the pie or slice – to nice people like you. Home Slice offers their homemade, hand-tossed, bona fide pies for either dine in or carry out.

Home Slice Pizza has won best pizza in the Austin Chronicle Reader’s Poll every year since 2007, was named #6 overall favorite restaurant in the 2011 edition of the Chronicle poll, and has been featured in local and national press including Texas Monthly, Delta Sky Magazine, Austin Monthly, Tribeza, Austinist, Spin, and Every Day with Rachael Ray.

About RetailMeNot.com:

RetailMeNot.com (www.retailmenot.com) is the leading consumer destination for collaborative online coupon, deal and promotional code hunting and sharing. Our mission is to help consumers save money and enjoy a hassle-free discount shopping experience. Since November 2006, our users have shared millions of deals at more than 130,000 merchants. Online coupons are rated and ranked by users, ensuring that quality deals rise to the top and expired coupons drop down the list. RetailMeNot.com is operated by WhaleShark Media, Inc., the world’s leading marketplace for online coupons and deals.  Make sure to “like” RetailMeNot on Facebook and follow the company via Twitter @retailmenot.

About WhaleShark Media, Inc:

WhaleShark Media, Inc. (www.whalesharkmedia.com) is the world’s leading marketplace for online coupons and deals. The company’s websites connect consumers seeking savings with discounts from more than 130,000 merchants, stores and retailers. WhaleShark Media welcomes more than 300 million visitors to shop its websites every year. The WhaleShark Media portfolio of websites includes www.RetailMeNot.com, the largest online coupon site in the United States; www.VoucherCodes.co.uk, the largest online coupon site in Europe; www.Deals.com; www.Deals2Buy.com; www.CheapStingyBargains.com; www.CouponSeven.com; www.CouponShare.com; and www.Gutschein-Codes.de. WhaleShark Media is a fast-growing, profitable company funded by venture capital firms Austin Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Adams Street Partners and Google Ventures.

Media Contact:

Home Slice Pizza

Joseph Strickland

joseph@homeslicepizza.com

512-773-6449

Austin Bat Cave

Manuel Gonzales

mgonzales@austinbatcave.org

512-524-1489

RetailMeNot.com

Brian Hoyt

bhoyt@retailmenot.com

512-777-2957

Win Free Pizza for a Year

Posted in Carnival O' Pizza by Joseph on November 4, 2011

Yes the rumors are true, you CAN win free pizza for a year at the Carnival O Pizza.  How you ask?  There are 2 ways:

  1. You can out eat everyone in the Pizza Eating Contest.
  2. You can leave your hand on a sandwich longer than anyone else in Hands on an Eggplant Sub (H.O.E.S).

Simple, right?

Here’s what you should know:

  • To compete in either contest you gotta apply so we can make sure you are serious about competing.
  • There is a small entrance fee for each contest, all of which goes to our charity for the Carnival, Austin Bat Cave.
  • For the Eating Contest we are only taking 8-10 applicants so get your app in soon and make it awesome.
  • For H.O.E.S, once you accepted into the contest, we ask that you get your friends to sponsor you online at Sponsor a H.O.E.  You have to raise $50 in pledges to qualify; the money goes straight to Austin Bat Cave.  Highest earner gets a special prize!
  • Check out these Rules for Hands on an Eggplant Sub

Think you have what it takes?  Fill out the short application and drop it off in person at Home Slice or email it to us.

2010 winner Billy "Porkchop" Chedsey chewing his heart out

H.O.E.S. 2010 begins. 63 hours later, Lauren Shugart (pictured) would emerge victorious

Pie Club is Back

Posted in Carnival O' Pizza by Joseph on October 20, 2011

Yo yo yo out there in blog land, it’s actually Fall-ish here in Austin, so it must be Carnival O’ Pizza time.   You know what this means, pizza lovers, right?  It means we are again welcoming new recruits into our volunteer mafia:  The Pie Club.

This year’s Carnival is Saturday, November 19th, and we’ve partnered with Austin Bat Cave as our 2011 charity. ABC is a non-profit organization that offers free creative writing workshops to kids in schools, off-site, and at their Central Austin writing center. Last year we raised $15,000 for Habitat Young Professionals, and we couldn’t have done it without our Pie Club volunteers.  So we’re sounding the call again to our family, friends, and fans to help us do even better this year!

For those that don’t know, we have some special perks that are ONLY offered to members of the Pie Club. So come on – Roll up your sleeves with us November 19 and let’s raise so money for a great cause!

We appreciate all good intentions, but only the dedicated should apply.  Want to know more? Send us an email at Pieclub@homeslicepizza.com and we’ll fill you in on the deets.

Home Slice Pizza selects Austin Bat Cave as 2011 Carnival-O-Pizza beneficiary

Posted in Carnival O' Pizza by Joseph on October 12, 2011

Another afternoon of pizza-themed zaniness in South Austin is right around the corner, as Home Slice Pizza announces the 6th annual Carnival-O-Pizza.

The Carnival is at once a celebration of the art of hand tossed pizza, a sixth birthday party for the restaurant, and a charitable endeavor intended to give back to the community that has made Home Slice one of Austin’s favorite eateries. This year’s Carnival-O-Pizza will take place Saturday, November 19, 2011 from 12 to 9 PM, with all proceeds directly benefiting this year’s charitable recipient: Austin Bat Cave.

About Austin Bat Cave:

Austin Bat Cave (ABC) Austin Bat Cave is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides children and teenagers (ages 6-18) with opportunities to develop their creative and expository writing skills. They connect a diverse population of young writers and learners with a vibrant community of adult volunteers in Austin. All of their programs are free.

ABC understands that public school teachers are the hardest-working people in town. With all their programs, they strive to be a resource, mobilizing volunteers to help teachers accomplish what they might not be able to accomplish on their own.

“We’re really excited to be working with Austin Bat Cave this year. It’s a cool feeling that the money we raise will be put toward helping kids harness the storyteller within and feel the sense of pride and power that comes from speaking one’s truth” says Home Slice Pizza co-owner Jen Strickland. “In addition to giving many unpaid hours of their time leading up to the carnival for planning, design, sign painting, pounding the pavement for raffle prizes, and mobilizing Home Slice’s volunteer army of people from the community that we call The Pie Club, our staff also wants to volunteer to help out with kids someday” adds co-owner Terri Hannifin.  “Their dedication to their work has inspired us to work harder to put this event together.”

Manuel Gonzales, ABC’s Executive Director, agrees it’s a good fit.  “We couldn’t have asked for a better partnership than the one Austin Bat Cave shares with the awesome folks at Home Slice Pizza,” says Gonzales, “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.”

About the Carnival O’ Pizza and Home Slice Pizza:

The idea for the carnival came from a desire to create an uniquely Austin version of a mix of Coney Island, the San Gennaro Festival in New York’s Little Italy, and co-owners Jen Strickland and Terri Hannifin’s childhood memories of block carnivals in support of various charities. Home Slice’s carnival continues in this tradition of grassroots, makeshift neighborhood carnivals but augments it with events that celebrate the art of hand-tossed pizza, and also serves a birthday party for Home Slice itself and its mascot, Slicey, who turns 6 years old this year.

Held in the Home Slice Pizza backyard and parking lot at 1415 South Congress Avenue, the carnival promises fun for all ages with:

  • carnival-style games (each with a Home Slice spin to them)
  • kid-themed offerings including our own invention: Pee Wee Pizzioli
  • a huge raffle featuring amazing prizes from business all over South Congress and beyond.
  • Entertainment including live music, readings by the ABC kids, graffiti artists, dancers, moustache painting, hair styling, and more.
  • Concessions including beer (lots!), Italian wines, beverages, and pizza.
  • Last but not least is Hands on an Eggplant Sub in which contestants vie to be the last person standing with their hand on 3 feet of sandwich; in 2010 the contest went on for an incredible 63 hours!

Stay tuned to this space for tons more details!