It was a "souper" day in South Side for annual soup contest
Nice weather added to the atmosphere
The 12th Annual South Side Soup Contest was a hit for the loyal army of soup tasters this year. Mother Nature also delivered perfect weather for the third week of February, a gift after the harsh snowstorm for last year's soup contest.
All 1,250 general admission tickets sold out along with 100 VIP tickets. Commonwealth Press also sold out all of the soup contest T-shirts as well.
Soup Contest Director Jennifer Jeffers led the soup contest committee and more than 100 volunteers to organize, prepare for and present arguably South Side's best soup contest ever.
First National Bank was the presenting sponsor. Many other sponsors and South Side businesses, large and small, made donations and worked to make the annual soup contest possible again this year. The Chamber of Commerce Red-Shirts Team cleaned up the sidewalks and streets with University of Pittsburgh and community volunteers throughout East Carson and the neighborhood. City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works Division 4 crews contributed with special early trash can pick-ups.
Twenty-five South Side chefs created delicious unique soups and delivered them to 25 business locations throughout South Side, most of them small and independent venues, for tasting by the "soupers" between noon and 3 p.m.
A special pre-contest VIP champagne reception was held at City Theatre where the $100 tickets included a celebrity visit with Rick Sebak of Pittsburgh's KQED PBS TV Station and numerous other extras. Mr. Sebak also participated in the soup contest and had his photo taken at the photo booth sponsored by 3030 South Water Apartments.
The soup contest ticket holders were joined by crowds of others as they ventured between soup stops, visited other shops and had their photos taken at the South Side Welcome Center, an official VisitPittsburgh information center.
Soup Contest ticket holders texted their individual votes for four award categories. All voters received a text with the Soup Contest Winners.
The South Side Soup Contest 2016 People's Choice Winners are:
Best Soup: Carmella's Plates and Pints and their Mushroom Bisque with Crispy Duck and Root Vegetables.
Runner Up: The Pub Chip Shop and their Jalapeño Bacon Beer Cheese Chowder.
Best Vegetarian: Stagioni and their Butternut Squash Soup.
Best Host: Five Star Dentistry and their entertaining venue for soupers.
Results are posted at http://www.facebook.com/SouthSideSoupContest.
Soupers generously brought hundreds of food donations which The Brashear Association will distribute through their two food pantries in South Pittsburgh. This year Hirambo of the South Side was the contest's official mobile app partner and donated $1 for every person who downloaded and used their app.
After dark South Side was still buzzing with many visitors and locals alike who enjoyed the soup contest excitement that continued. And so it was into the wee hours as usual on a very special Saturday night on the South Side.