Pizza News

U.S. Pizza Team Still Flying High From 84th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Oxford, Miss. (December 22, 2010) – Members of the United States Pizza Team recently marched and performed dough acrobatics as part of the 84th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® on Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 9:00 a.m., which was seen nationwide on NBC-TV.

The team, which was started in 2000 and is sponsored by pizza industry vendors and PMQ Pizza Magazine, is composed of pizzaiolos from around the nation whose skills range from baking to dough stretching to individual and group dough acrobatics.

With U.S. Pizza Team members joining together from more than 10 different states, it was no easy task to coordinate practice times to prepare for this historic event. With the average marching band practicing together 15-20 hours a week for 2-3 years, the U.S. Pizza Team needed to hit the ground running and rally together to nail down its routines, including conducting practices in Central Park that caught the eye of many a passerby.

At the start of the parade, the team was introduced to viewers as “one of the most unique performance groups in the history of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.” Hundreds of parade watchers along the route chanted, “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!”

While team members use real dough in competition, members used Throw Dough (ThrowDough. com), a synthetic, practice dough used for performing elaborate tricks, during the parade. The team has competed internationally in Australia, China, France and Italy in previous years and members have made appearances on ESPN’s Cold Pizza, CNN Headline News, CBS’s The Early Show, CBS Sunday Morning, WPIX Morning, Good Morning America, Food Network’s 10,000 Pizza Challenge, Food
Network’s Paula’s Party, ABC’s Masters of Champions and Nickelodeon’s Nick News and many other local and national stations.

For more information about the U.S. Pizza Team, visit

U.S. Pizza Team members who participated in the Parade included:

Hakki Akdeniz, New York, NY
Michael Amheiser, Fredricktown, OH
Austin and Becca Russell, Fredricktown, OH
Chef Santo Bruno, Tampa, FL
Scott Childers, Riverview, FL
Jamie Culliton, Fort Myers, FL
Miller Cherefant, N. Miami Beach, FL
Caroline Felker, Oxford, MS
Chris and Missy Green, Oxford, MS
Jeff Hoffman, Golden, CO
Steve Lieber, Boca Raton, FL
Patrick Maggi, Demascus, VA
Matt McClellan, St. Petersburg, FL
Tony Muia, Brooklyn, NY
Sam and Will Niemeier, Indialantic, FL
Wilhelm Rodriguez, Cabo Rojo, PR
Eric Ross, Tucson, AZ
Jason Samosky, Valley City, OH
Dave Smith, II, Emporium, PA
Kai Tutor, St. Augustine, FL
Juliana Zarou, Sterling, VA

To reach any of the above members, contact U.S. Pizza Team director of operations Steve Lieber at