Big Sandy Superstore Arena: Wing Fling all-you-can-eat chicken wing festival

 

Huntington’s inaugural chicken wing festival is set to take place at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena Saturday.

Wing Fling is one of the newest additions to the area’s fall festival lineup. Like most of the local events, Wing Fling revolves around one thing – food.

“When you break bread together, you kinda come together,” Dave Lavender, Herald Dispatch reporter and Wing Fling judge, said. “That’s what makes a community good.”

The new festival will feature all-you-can-eat chicken wings from local restaurants. Many of the vendors are known for wings, like Buddy’s BBQ, Fat Patty’s and Rooster’s. Other vendors will be bringing wings with a different twist like Black Sheep Burrito and Brews, Christopher’s Eats, Prime on Fourth and the Tortilla Factory.

Vendors will bring their best rubs and sauces to be judged in front of a panel.

“I’m definitely interested in judging,” Lavender said. “There’s such a crazy array of restaurants.”

This year’s judges include Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, Barboursville Mayor Chris Tatum, Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau president Tyson Compton, radio personality Julie Reeves and Lavender.

“I’m kind of a foodie,” Lavender said. “We definitely have a great group of judges and I’m definitely stoked to hang out with those people.”

When it comes to chicken wings Lavender,has a few expectations for what makes an award-winning wing.

“Well, I think you want something that is really meaty and juicy,” Lavender said. “You want it to be basic and without any sauce to be juicy. You want all of those flavors to blend, whether it’s a dry rub or a sauce.”

Wing Fling guests will be able to vote for their favorite wings. The most popular wing will be announced as people’s choice. The winners of both competitions will receive a trophy and a banner announcing their victory to hang in their restaurant.

Rooster’s of Huntington will sponsor a wing-eating contest for guests to participate in. The winner of the chicken-wing-eating contest will be crowned “King of Wings” and will receive a trophy, two tickets to the upcoming Chris Young concert and $50 in Rooster’s gift certificates.

Those who wish to participate may sign up the day of the event where five participants will be selected. The contest begins at noon.

“We encourage everyone to come early and take advantage of all the wing samples before they are gone,” said Cara Hedrick, marketing and sales manager for the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

Wing Fling begins at 11 a.m. and lasts until 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $20 per person.

“This is an all-you-can-eat event,” Hedrick said. “So when the wings are gone, they’re gone.”

MacKenzi Kyle can be contacted at [email protected]