MEDINA — Brien and Victoria Griffith attended their first Pizza Palooza on Saturday in Medina Public Square. The cloudy and rainy weather didn’t keep them away.
The Griffiths, of Massillon, said they never found time to stop by Pizza Palooza in previous years. They made time this year for one main reason — Ohio Pie Co.
“We always wanted to try their pizza,” Brien Griffith said. “When we heard they would be here, we made sure we came out.”
At the end of the day, Ohio Pie Co. in Brunswick won the people’s choice award in the sixth annual Medina County Pizza Palooza. Courthouse Pizzeria in Medina took home the judges’ trophy.
The other contestants serving slices were Domino’s Pizza, Gionino’s Pizza, Marco’s Pizza and Master Pizza, all of Medina. To taste samples from each pizzeria and vote for the people’s choice award, each visitor bought an $8 ticket.
Pizza Palooza was presented by Feeding Medina County and Main Street Medina and sponsored by Westfield Bank and United Way of Medina County.
Judges in the pizza contest included Colleen Rice, executive director of Leadership Medina County; Diana Riley, manager of community affairs and corporate events with RPM International Inc. in Medina; and Greg Beegle of Cafeteria Logix.
Other judges were Jaclyn Ringstmeier, executive director of the Greater Medina Chamber of Commerce; Michael Flaherty, CEO and executive director of Serenite Restaurant in Medina; Rob Levine, client service representative with Westfield Bank; and Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell.
Pizza Palooza also featured nearly 50 nonprofits and social-service organizations that set up tents in the square. They included Easter Seals, Alzheimer’s Association, Free Clinic of Medina County, Friends of Medina County Parks, Catholic Charities, Building Blocks Adoption Services and the U.S. Army.
Pat Chaloupek, treasurer of The Medina County Arts Council, attended Pizza Palooza with her husband, Ken. The arts council passed out literature and spoke to folks at the event.
“We’re trying to get people informed, letting them know the arts are here and thriving in Medina,” Pat Chaloupek said.
In addition, the square was filled with vendors from Medina Farmers Market. They included Goat Milke Shop of Hinckley, Richardson Farms of Lafayette Township, Fresh2ucoffee of Greenwich and Orange Wood Bakeshop.
But when Shannon Huth of Medina was asked why she and husband Tim Huth attended their third straight Pizza Palooza, her answer was simple.
“I like pizza,” Shannon said.