The Wing is King

Fifty years ago, a bar-food legend was born in Buffalo.

Late one night, Teressa Bellissimo was working at the Anchor Bar when her son and a few friends came into the restaurant, looking for a bite to eat. Teressa grabbed some chicken wings (which were considered table scraps at the time), fried them up in butter, added some cayenne pepper sauce, served them with bleu cheese and – voila! – the world had its first official chicken wing. Today, wings are so popular that the National Chicken Council reported that Americans alone downed 27 billion wings last year.

There’s no better place to celebrate the golden anniversary of this saucy snack than the 13th annual National Buffalo Wing Festival. Over the course of Labor Day Weekend, thousands of chicken wing lovers will descend upon Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo. Wing Fest, as it’s come to be called, has attracted individuals from all over the world, including all 50 states and 36 countries. Over the last 12 years, ‘Wing King’ and Wing Fest founder Drew Cerza estimates that more than 407,000 people have attended the event and consumed 137 tons, or 2.4 million wings, from 191 restaurants. The festival hosts a variety of events ranging from a Miss Buffalo Wing Pageant, to your classic eating contest. They even have a ‘Bobbing for Wings’ event, where contestants go face-first into a baby-pool filled with blue cheese to pluck as many chicken wings as possible.

So if you like chicken wings, want to enjoy the beautiful Buffalo weather, or just have the weekend off, head on over to the ballpark and spice things up! The festival, which runs from 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30 and 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 31.

See you there.

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia, Visit Buffalo Niagara, and The National Buffalo Wing Fest