On Saturday, November 18, about 100 would-be Guy Fieris descended on Midtown Manhattan with a single goal in mind: Get to Flavortown.
While how exactly one might find the portal to Flavortown was up for debate, there were dozens of men and women in bleach-blonde wigs, hot-sauce-emblazoned shirts, and fake goatees who all thought they just might know the way. The rallying cry was “I’M GUY FIERI!” starting with one Guy Fieri and escalating into everybody chanting in unison.
READ MORE: Who Is Guy Fieri?
The facsimile Fieris had come together for the second annual FieriCon, a raucous celebration of the celebrity chef that involves dressing like the meat-pile-loving man, shouting his most meme-friendly catchphrases, and drinking cheap beer as if the apocalypse were just moments away. It’s a daytime bar crawl—with stops at the Hog Pit, Pioneers Bar, Stout NYC Flagship, and the Keg Room—that’s intended to conclude at Guy's American Kitchen and Bar in Times Square.
David Gold, the 24-year-old founder of the event, was excited and overwhelmed throughout its duration, both pleased by the surprisingly robust attendance and baffled by the amount of attention his crawl has received. In 2016, Gothamist, Time Out New York, and other local outlets covered the inaugural event, and this year, the New York Post interviewed Gold. Still, despite the influx of press, he never thought people he didn't know personally would bother to show.
"This was just an inside joke," he said. "And now it's a big thing. My friend's parents are here. The site got 9,000 views yesterday.”
Gold conceived the idea one afternoon while he on his couch eating Chinese food and watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. He made the website, and “somehow,” he said, “people found it.”
The most obvious predecessor to FieriCon is to SantaCon, where thousands of day-drinkers descend upon lower Manhattan to don their best Mr. Claus costumes, slam a few (or many, many) back, and sometimes engage in fistfights and public sexual activity with one another. While Gold acknowledged SantaCon as an inspiration, he also rejected the comparison: His FieriCon is much smaller (for now), and the attendees are much more jovial, and, thus far, better behaved than the depraved, vomitous Santas our society has come to know. When a Guy stood on a table at Stout NYC Flagship with a cheeseburger, the crowd quickly fell silent in anticipation. Many of the Guys were clutching personal buckets of Bud Light. They were ready to listen.
The central Guy bit into the burger, as we all waited for his review.
“It’s BOMB DOT COM!” he shouted. The room erupted into applause.
Here are some other choice quotes we overheard, as well as the revelry our two photographers captured.
“You know Guy's one of those guys you just want to emulate. He really embodies flavor.”
“My cousin told me about this, and I just wanted to support my family.”
“That Colt 45 is starting to sneak up on me.”
“We want to end in Flavortown, and we want Guy to be there.”
”Is that bacon fat?!”
“Can I have a rip of your Jewel [vape pen]? I feel like it's something Guy would do.”
“We don’t need ID. They know who we are.”
“Oh, look, it’s a Girl Fieri.”
"I am the only Fieri."