Like an old friend, pizza is always welcome. Gather with friends both old and new and say hello to slices of some of the area’s best oven-baked pies at City Hall Plaza for the Boston Pizza Festival June 24 & 25. Much like that proverbial long-lost pal, the festivities return, after being away for far too long, to feed the masses from 11 a.m.–6 p.m. each day, offering free admission and tickets for slices for the low cost of $10.99 for three, $15.99 for five and $29.99 for 10. In addition to offerings from more than 30 pizzerias, the festivities also include a children’s pizza tossing station and pizza making demos, as well as live music, entertainment and beverages for both kids and adults. There are even vegan and gluten-free pies available, ensuring that everyone can participate in what is being billed as the largest event of its kind in New England.