National Buffalo Wing Festival
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National Buffalo Wing Festival or Wing Fest is a weekend festival held on Labor Day weekend at Sahlen Field in downtown Buffalo, New York, United States, celebrating the Buffalo style chicken wing. The festival culminates with the IFOCE sanctioned Buffalo Wing eating contest, which has taken place the Sunday of the festival since 2003, except 2020 when it was canceled.
|National Buffalo Wing Festival|
|Date(s)||Labor Day weekend, 4–5 September 2021|
|Organized by||Drew Cerza|
This festival was inaugurated in 2002. Founder Drew Cerza, called the "Wing King" by Buffalo News, was said to have modeled the event on a fictitious festival from the 2001 movie Osmosis Jones. Though it has been claimed that this is the first festival of its kind, WingStock on Main Street in Downtown Buffalo was held annually prior to the first National Buffalo Wing Festival. The first Wingstock was in 1997 and won by Ray Jay's Bar on Broadway in Cheektowaga and was held at the Radisson Hotel on Genesee street. Jill Greenburg said, "Of local festivals that have come and gone, the Wing Fest’s staying power is a result of raising approximately $200,000 for local charities and serving almost 3,000,000 chicken wings with 100 sauce varieties to over 500,000 hungry visitors over the years." In 2010, the festival was video webcast live to over 84,000 online viewers. On September 2, 2012, Joey Chestnut consumed 191 wings (7.61 pounds (3.45 kg)) in 12 minutes to take competitive-eating trophy from seven-time champion Sonya Thomas, becoming the first new champion since 2006. After losing to Miki Sudo in 2013, Chestnut returned to his winning ways in 2014 by breaking his own record by eating 192 wings and successfully defended his title the next year by breaking yet another record, this time eating 205 wings on September 6, 2015. Two years later, he set another record, this time of 220 wings on September 3, 2017. Geoff Esper holds the record of 281 in 2019.
With the 2020 festival canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 19th was deferred to 2021. However, the Chicken Wing Fun Run went virtual.
Contests at the National Buffalo Wing Festival include:
- US Chicken Wing Eating Championship
- Amateur Chicken Wing Eating
- Amateur Traditional Sauce Contest
- Amateur Creative Sauce Contest
- Ridiculously Hot Wing Eating Contest
- Miss Buffalo Wing
- Bobbing for Wings
- Baby Wing
- Buffalo Buffet Bowl
- Yancey's Fancy Cheesiest Couple Contest
- Yancey's Fancy Cheesy Dance-Off Contest
- Battle of the Border
- College Wing Eating Competition
- Chicken Wing 5K (3.107 mi.) Run, since 2016.
US chicken wing eating championship competition winnersEdit
Contest duration is 12 minutes.
|Date||Name||Chicken wings eaten||Notes|
|II||9/1/2003||Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas||134|
|IV||9/3/2005||Eric "Badlands" Booker||137|
|VI||9/1/2007||Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas||173||Event record|
|XI||9/2/2012||Joey "Jaws" Chestnut||191||Event record|
|XIII||8/31/2014||Joey "Jaws" Chestnut||192||Event record|
|XVIII||9/1/2019||Geoff Esper||281||New record.|
- Klinck, Patrick (September 1, 2012). "Buffalo Wing Festival Starts Second Decade in a Big Way". WGRZ.com. Archived from the original on February 9, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
- Baldwin, Richard (2012-09-05). "He ate 191 wings, but who's counting?". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 2012-09-06.
- "Contest Information". National Buffalo Wing Festival. Archived from the original on August 29, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2012.
- "2010 National Buffalo Wing Festival - Black Widow Wins". www.allvoices.com. 2010-09-06. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
- "Chestnut eats record 191 wings in 12 minutes". timesheraldonline. 2012-09-02. Archived from the original on 2013-02-05. Retrieved 2012-09-02.