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Chamber's 'Pizza Party' A Big Hit At Destination Newtown



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Nearly 800 hungry guests and attendees queued up and consumed 4,674 free pizza slices during the 14th Annual Destination Newtown for Thursday, November 16, at Edmond Town Hall.newtown-ct.com.

Newtown Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Helen Brickfield said the annual business showcase was a hit based on the constant flow of visitors, many of whom stood shoulder-to-shoulder awaiting incoming pies, many featuring tantalizing toppings from popular pepperoni to curious combinations of vegetables, fruits, cheeses, and meats.

In fact, it was Red Rooster Pub's arugula, pear, and bleu cheese pie that took first place bragging rights for Newtown's "Most Creative" pizza, followed closely by Elisia's Pizza that Newtown Pizza Palace owner Ari Zoto learned how to make from his daughter - featuring ricotta, fresh peanuts, Parmesan, fresh tomato, and avocado.

Lions Bleecker Street Pizza of Newtown took top honors for "Most Delicious" with its tangy, square pan Grandma Pizza, while folks gobbled up the classic cheese from top runner-up Franco's Pizza.

Estimating attendance between 700 and 800, Ms Brickfield said participating vendors and chamber officials were so ecstatic that, "We booked the date for next year - same location - Thursday, October 4."

In all, Red Rooster Pub, Papa Al's Pizza, Newtown Pizza Palace, The Villa, Lion's Bleecker Street, Franco's Pizza, Carminuccio's, and PIY (Pizza It Yourself) served up 197 pies sliced up during the main event's three-hour run.

Ahead of the showcase, which included vendors from website designers and local funeral homes to a pest management service, beauty and health service providers, many Newtown nonprofits, and various municipal agencies, Kevin's Community Center founder Dr Z Michael Taweh and Clinic Director Mary Nielsen, DNP, APRN-BC, dispensed valuable tips about enhancing the wellness of employees to dozens of local and regional business and human resource professionals who came out for an exclusive VIP reception.

Attendees to that pre-event networking reception were welcomed by executives from title sponsor Newtown Savings Bank, including a few remarks from retiring bank CEO John Trentacosta. Additional event sponsors include Fraser Woods Montessori School, C.H. Booth Library, Caraluzzi's, Dental Associates of Connecticut, Edward Jones, The Newtown Bee, and the Law Office of James O. Gaston.

Those arriving could not get in the door before visiting with representatives from the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which stationed one of its newest vehicles at the ETH gym entrance. Visitors also flocked to a huge silver Airstream trailer outfitted as a clever and cozy Traveling Chic Boutique, that was also stationed just outside.

But once inside, guests enjoyed background music from young performers, including violinist Carolee Finney, while jostling to chat with exhibitors - and of course, excuse themselves as they saw boxes of fresh pizzas heading in to the various main event booths.

For more information about Newtown Chamber activities, or to learn about joining the organization, contact Ms Brickfield at 203-426-2695 or visit

The 14th Annual Destination Newtown's pizza contest winners are pictured from left: Brendan and his father Aristotel "Ari" Zoto of Newtown Pizza Palace, who were runner up for Most Creative Pizza; Dennis Demiri of Lion's Bleecker Street, who won bragging rights for Most Delicious Pizza; Bruno Crosnier and Nicole Gerak of Red Rooster Pub, who were voted Most Creative Pizza; and Elizabeth Siemon and her daughter, Sofia, of Franco's took home the runner-up award for Most Delicious Pizza. (Bee Photo, Voket)
Dr Robert Grossman and Joan Crick check out the newest rig to be placed in service by the Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which was represented at the 14th Annual Destination Newtown business showcase. (Bee Photo, Voket)
Violinist Carolee Finney provided background music for the 14th Annual Destination Newtown at Edmond Town Hall November 16. (Bee Photo, Voket)
Between 700 and 800 attendees and vendors mixed and enjoyed networking and pizza during the 14th Annual Destination Newtown business showcase that was held November 16 at Edmond Town Hall. (Bee Photo, Voket)
Susan Bean, left, and owner Martine Shanchuk of The Gift Box were among dozens of exhibitors at the 14th Annual Destination Newtown November 16. (Bee Photo, Voket)
Claire Rabjohn, left, and Isabelle Beers greeted Destination Newtown visitors at the Traveling Chic Boutique trailer outside the Edmond Town Hall gym where the 14th annual Chamber of Commerce business showcase. (Bee Photo, Voket)
Dan Cruson, Jr, of Cruson Web shows off the newly redesigned Newtown Chamber of Commerce website. He is pictured with Helen Brickfield, who serves as the chamber's business development director. (Bee Photo, Voket)
Newtown Chamber of Commerce President Brian Amey, left, chats with Kevin's Community Center public health clinic founder Dr Z. Michael Taweh at the 14th Annual Destination Newtown. Dr Taweh and Clinic Director Mary Nielsen hosted a pre-event VIP gathering dispensing advice for business owners on how to keep their workforces healthy and productive, especially during winter cold and flu season. (Bee photo, Voket)
PIY (Pizza It Yourself) owner Grace Winstanley, right, opens up a couple of freshly delivered pies as 2017 Destination Newtown attendees queue up for a slice. The local "internet pizza company" specializes in helping customers create and bake their own specialty pizzas in the comfort of their own home kitchens, according to the owner. (Bee Photo, Voket)
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