Pizza

Contestants of last year’s pizza-eating contest begin with their first slice during the Pizza Festival at Halifax Square.

The second annual South Boston Pizza Festival will return from 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday in the Halifax Square Shopping Center to support The Passage Place, a transition home of the organization Do Something, and a new pizza-eating champion could be named.

Admission is free to the event that will feature something for all ages including entertainment, bounce houses, barrel train, food vendors, Marlo the Magician, vendors, a 50/50 raffle, giveaways, a car show and the pizza-eating contest, according to organizer Vinny Sarnataro.

Thanks to donations of 10 pizzas from each local pizza eatery, Village’s Pizza in Danville and Sal’s Jr. Pizzeria and Restaurant in Radford, the first 500 people will get to enjoy two free slices of pizza and a drink after a prayer and the singing of the National Anthem.

The pizza-eating contest will begin later in the evening at 6 p.m.

Henry Conner is the reigning champion from last year’s pizza festival and the strawberry festival with his best time being 3 minutes and 52 seconds.

If anyone can beat Conner’s best time, Sarnataro said he will give the person $500.

Last year, the event raised roughly $10,000 for Misunderstood and Halifax Dog Squad, and this year he’s focusing his support toward Do Something in Halifax.

Do Something in Halifax was formed in 2016. The name, “Do Something” came from a Matthew West song with the same name.  

“We believe that all people deserve the basic necessities of life, and the community in which we live is called to serve this purpose,” said organizer Bonita Nelson.

In July 2017, Do Something purchased a home on Moore Street, and it became The Passage Place.  

“We are a transition home, not a homeless shelter. Transition, as a noun, is the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. This home has the capability to house those who will be allowed to live there, comfortably and providing for all their needs. A separate building to be used as an office and classroom is located adjacent to the house,” said Nelson.

She said much work has been put in restoring and remodeling to meet the needs of those who will be living there. Many volunteers, she said, have donated their time and money to this project. The money used to purchase and remodel the home has been provided by fundraising events and donations from businesses, individuals and churches.

The Passage Place is a Christian-based home, which means that virtually no state or federal funds have been used to finance this project, according to Nelson.  

“The entire budget comes from tax deductible donations,” said Nelson.

In order to live at The Passage Place, she said each person will have to complete an application. If they pass this, then they will meet with a caseworker who will develop an individualized treatment plan.

This plan will include which outside organizations will be utilized to ensure their goals can be reached in a timely manner.

Upon completion of all classes, she said each person should be able to find a self-supportive job and become an upstanding citizen who will not have to depend on state or federal programs to survive.

If anyone would like more information on becoming involved at The Passage Place as a volunteer or how to make a pledge, contact Nelson at 434-222-7366 or email nitanel@yahoo.com.

Sarnataro previously helped Do Something when they were in the beginning stages with a T-shirt fundraiser.

Now that they have The Passage Place, he wants to help again.

“They need this extra push, and I think it’s a really good organization,” said Sarnataro.

He’s hoping everyone will support the organization by coming out to the pizza festival on Saturday.

Throughout the day various individuals will be entertaining including DJ Loco, Red Bank Rival Band, Brandon Tanksley and his wife, Misty, Nelly Zamora Jones, and Sarnataro said he is still looking for more local talent who would like to perform.

Pizza will be for sale at Italian Delight and from Full Circle Pizza with Brian Worley, and Darrell Chandler of TC’s Bar-B-Que will be serving up barbecue for sale.

From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. the Fall Cruz-in will be held with Tinkers Car Club, Italian Delight and Frutopia. All cars, trucks and motorcycles are welcome.

For more information on the car show, call Tinkers Car Club President Gilmer Meeler at 434-575-7350, Vice President Wayne Bowen at 434-585-1199 or Secretary and Treasurer Raymond Butler or Terry Butler at 434-575-7032.

Vendors and sponsors are still being sought.

Presenting sponsors are Italian Delight and Frutopia.

Other sponsors include Village Pizza Danville, DJ Loco Entertainment, Church Of God, Dominos Pizza, Sal’s Jr. Pizzeria and Restaurant Radford, O Sole Mio Restaurant, Dan River Window Co. Inc., JVI Mobile Marketing, Tattoo Zone World o’ stuff, Pizzaman Vinny, General Dentistry Michael C. Peer, D.D.S., Marlo the Magician, Halifax County Sheriff Fred Clark, Commonwealth Driving Improvement, Superior Signs, Epps Collision Center, Halifax Dog Squad Inc., Arrow Electrical, Red Bank Revival Band, Old 360 Diner, CC’s Unique Creations, Paparazzi by Zelena, Winbush Racing, Colette Facepainting, Halifax Scouts 332, Sherwin Williams Paints, Glerin Business Resource, Law Office Of Lisa Francisco, P.C., Jones Building Systems, Nelly Zamora Jones Entertainment, Shield Fire Safety, Palmer Properties Of VA LLC, Full Circle Pizza, Charles Anderson Lawn Care Services, Aaron’s, Gutterworx, South Boston Tobacco & Vape, Pizza Hut, Brandon Tanksley Entertainment, Easley’s Body Shop, Charlie Newby Construction, Scentsy & Crafts by Connie & Dee Pigg, Divine Decor & More, D & D Pork Rinds, WSBV 1560 AM Christian Radio, YNOT 3D Printing Creations, Quality Inn, Leslie Cockburn for Congress, All Waterless Cleaning, Matt’s Lawn Care, Cherry Hill United Methodist Church, Francisco Forestry, Ragan’s Autosales LLC, Morgan Lumber Co. Inc, Brian Jones Motorsports Of South Boston, HempWorx by Amy Francis, Gene’s Orange Market, Little Caesars Pizza, Roma Italian Restaurant, South Boston Speedway and Dinis Brothers Pizza & Restaurant.

For more information on the festival, contact Sarnataro at 434-470-2205 and keep an eye out for more information on Facebook at South Boston Pizza Festival.