Organizers of Boston Pizza Festival face heat for event organization

BOSTON — How long would you wait for a pizza? Thousands of people found out the hard way in Boston Saturday afternoon when they flooded the city for a pizza festival.

Thousands of people packed the first-ever Boston Pizza Festival at City Hall Plaza, but the crowds were so large that it overwhelmed staff.

Organizer Raffaele Scalzi said it was overwhelming.

"We purposely made the hours 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. thinking everyone would come and spread it out," he said.
But that wasn't the case.

He said most people showed up right as the doors opened.

“But once the doors opened for general admission, there was a line all the way down to the JFK building,” Scalzi said.

And with the long lines of course came the complaints from customers who started bashing the festival on social media.

“So we waited and walked all the way around and waited a while in the wrong line,” Francesca Maietta said.

She said she bought a ticket for the festival in advance, but like many others, she waited in the line to buy ticked by accident.

“I wasn’t really bothered by it, but it would have been nice if there were more signs, or if there were more people directing,” she said.

But the lines didn’t bother anyone as soon as they got inside because they were finally able to try pizza from 25 different vendors, including some from Italy.

Now Scalzi said that after Saturday’s turnout they’re preparing for an even bigger festival next year with more entrances to ease the wait.

“We’re going to take all of City Hall Plaza next year,” he said. “Not just the front area. We’ll do the whole thing.”