LOWER EAST SIDE — Love pickles? Relish a good pun? If so, you may want to chip in some wordplay at the Lower East Side Pickle Day this weekend.
The street fair will host its first-ever “pun-off” at 3 p.m. Sunday, pitting eight contestants against each other as they attempt to come up with the best pickle-related quips, said comedian Jo Firestone, who will host the event.
“It’s like a wild and crazy game where the nerds get to be on top,” she said.
Each contestant will be judged by the audience’s applause, which will be measured on a scale from “Rotten Tomato” to “Punderful” by the “Clap-O-Meter,” a “plywood contraption” operated by an on-stage volunteer, Firestone said.
Those who can't deliver a crowd-pleasing pun will find themselves in a pickle — they’ll be eliminated from the competition, Firestone said. The final two contestants will win a mystery prize, she said.
The pun-off is based off “Punderdome 3000,” a monthly punning competition hosted by Firestone and her father, Fred Firestone, in Gowanus.
“It’s pretty wild and crazy,” she said. “Sometimes [contestants] do stories, sometimes they do jokes. Some people do songs. People find really creative ways to deliver their puns.”
The Pickle Day contest is a smaller, shorter version of the Punderdome but should be just as fun, Firestone said.
“If you like puns, you’re going to love this event,” she said.
The event is part of Pickle Day, a fall food festival hosted annually by the Lower East Side Business Improvement District.
The contest is free to watch and join, Firestone said, but only the first eight people to sign up will get to compete. Sign-ups will be available at the LES BID table, located on Orchard Street near Rivington Street, starting at noon.
In addition to the pun-off, the festival will include samples from 15 different pickle-makers as well as several activities, like live music and a pickling contest judged by editors from Grub Street, Saveur and Epicurious, organizers said.
The Lower East Side Pickle Day will take place on Oct. 19 from noon to 5 p.m. on Orchard Street between Houston and Delancey streets. For more information, visit the event’s website.