Ahuge room filled with all the pizza...


Ahuge room filled with all the pizza one can eat for a modest fee is either Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle heaven or the sixth annual Pizza and Italian Festival, on tap today at the Pasadena Convention Center.

“Did you know that Americans eat 90 acres of pizza a day?” asked event coordinator Peter Dills of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Pasadena, which is sponsoring the festival. That’s all Americans together in one day, not including mutated, pizza-noshing amphibians.

Dills, self-proclaimed pizza czar, said he got that fact from a magazine.

His other facts are based on his personal experience as founder and coordinator of the big fund-raising event, in which 23 local restaurants will participate, including Market City Caffe, Il Fornaio, Mi Piace and Robin’s. Proceeds will support such club activities as camps, computer classes, crafts and organized sports for about 7,000 youngsters between the ages of 7 and 17.


Dills, 30, has been involved with the clubs since he was a member back in 1973. He works for them part time now aside from his other job as a publicist.

The pizza festival has been his baby from the start. He even came up with the idea.

“They have chili cook-offs.

Peter Dills, coordinator of the Pizza and Italian Festival in Pasadena.

Why not have a pizza festival?” he said.

Unlike the cook-offs, the festival is not competitive, unless you count raffling off tickets to Clippers and Dodgers games.

The Rhythm Kings will be playing Italian music for the event. Pasadena’s own Crown City Brewery will be selling homemade birra, or beer, and there also will be sodas for sale.

A $13 admission fee will get you in, and all the pizza you can eat. The hours are 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Convention Center, 300 E. Green St.