Some of Central Texas’ best pizza food trucks will gather in Salado this spring for the inaugural Texas Pizza Festival at Barrow Brewing Company.
Five trucks will be participating in the March 4 event, including Treno Pizzeria, Bahler Street Pizza, Happy Pizza Co., Pizza Pieros and Stony’s Pizza.
“We are limiting the event to pizza makers who meet three criteria: they must be mobile, wood-fired and from Central Texas,” said Barrow’s co-owner and event organizer KD Hill. “We are already getting inquiries for next year — this is definitely going to grow.”
The idea behind the Texas Pizza Festival came from one of the participants, Frank Riggle of Bahler Street Pizza.
“Frank approached me with his idea, and he thought Barrow Brewing would be the perfect spot,” Hill said. “I agreed it could be a cool thing. Hey, I’m willing to give anything a try. The participating food trucks jumped at the opportunity.”
Riggle said the festival would be a natural attraction for a large slice of the population.
“I would say 99.9% of the population either likes pizza or beer, and most like both,” Riggle said. “There’s a lot of quality pizza in Central Texas, and all five of these vendors offer different but quality food. I think this has a chance of growing into something special.”
Bahler Street Pizza, which will celebrate its one-year anniversary on Feb. 16 at FoxDog in Temple, has been an award-winning food truck since its start.
“We were in business all of 40 days when we won an award at the Texas Food Truck Showdown,” Riggle said. “All five of the trucks in the Texas Pizza Festival are among the best.”
The festival will feature a friendly competition between the pizza businesses to see which is the most popular with visitors. Tickets to the event include tokens, and each token can be redeemed for a slice of pizza. The vendor with the most tokens at the end of the competition — about 5 p.m. — will win a pizza-themed award.
“We have three ticket levels,” KD said. “Regular tickets are $20 per person and include four tokens, and the supreme tickets cost $40 and include six tokens and an event t-shirt. We have a $10 package for kids that includes two tokens.”
Tickets can be purchased at centraltexastickets.com. Additional tokens can be purchased at the festival.
In addition to the people’s choice competition, those attending can get in on the cheesy fun at the Pizza Olympics.
“There will be challenging games of luck and skill,” Hill said. “We will have a pizza toss to determine who can throw dough the highest, plus other pie-themed events. There also will be learning opportunities, and those attending can learn to toss dough.”
“We’re going to have more than just pizza at this family friendly, dog friendly event,” she said. “We will have activities to keep the kids entertained, suggested beer pairings to go with different pizza toppings, and live music on the outdoor John Deere Stage.”
Two of Central Texas’ top bands will be appearing at the festival, including Austin-based Automatic Weekend and Temple-based Madstone, a crowd favorite in the area.
Automatic Weekend, a Laredo band that recently moved to Austin, is known for its hard-hitting South Texas rock ‘n’ roll that blends rock with country and soul. Madstone plays a blend of country, and classic and Southern rock.
“We are so excited about the Texas Pizza Festival,” Hill said. “We want to showcase the different wood-fired pizza concepts. They are all pizzas, but they are very different.”