Here’s a trivia question for you to chew on: What does Bill Murray have to do with the National Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival? The festival was inspired 13 years ago by a movie Murray starred in, “Osmosis Jones.”
Murray’s character was a big junk food and chicken wing eater whose goal was to attend the Festival, which didn’t exist at the time. Buffalo News columnist Donn Esmonde wrote a piece saying that he was shocked that such a festival didn’t exist in the birthplace of the spicy appendage. Local businessman Drew Cerza, now better known as the Wing King, took the chicken by the horns and created the Festival.
Would you believe it’s this Labor Day weekend: Saturday, August 30, from noon - 9:00 and Sunday, August 31 from noon until 7:00 at Coca-Cola Field in downtown Buffalo? You may have seen 30 tons of wings being delivered at the ballpark Wednesday for the 13th annual festival.
Here’s a rundown of this year’s schedule:
Saturday, August 30, 2014
ALL DAY Kid Zone – Play all Day 1:00PM Amateur Creative Sauce-Off 1:30PM Amateur Traditional Sauce-Off 2:00PM Heavenly Chillbillies Blues Band 2:30PM Dennis George – QuizMaster 3:00PM The Healthy Zone Recipe Challenge 3:30PM Bobbing for Wings 4:00PM Amateur Wing Eating Championship 4:45PM Dennis George – QuizMaster 5:15PM Restaurant Awards Ceremony 6:00PM Buffalo Buffet Bowl Eating Contest 7:00PM Heavenly Chillbillies Blues Band 9:00PM Closing Ceremonies
Sunday, August 31, 2014
ALL DAY Kid Zone – Play all Day 12:30PM Baby Wing Competition 1:00PM Dennis George – Quizmaster 1:30PM Miss Buffalo Wing Pageant 2:00PM Bobbing for Wings 2:30PM College Wing Eating Competition 3:00PM Hot Buffalo Wing Eating Contest 4:00PM Dennis George – Quiz Master 5:00PM United States Chicken Wing Eating Championship 6:00PM Heavenly Chilbillies 7:00PM Closing Ceremonies
Even the sports networks are getting in on the action. ESPN 3 will be broadcasting the Wing Eating contest Sunday at 3. And USA Today recently featured the fowl fest in things to do this holiday weekend. Over four million wings (237 tons) have been sold since the festival began in 2002. The festival has drawn more than 795,000 people and served over 4.2 million wings during the last decade. Local charities have received in excess of $270,000 since the festival began. I’m looking forward to judging the Healthy Zone Recipe Challenge. It’s not a wing, but different recipes inspired by Buffalo’s famous food. Can’t wait to see what flavor combos the contestants create!
Please join me Sunday morning on “Brenda’s Bites,” 10:30 – 11am on ESPN AM 1520. My guests this week are Joanne Gogos from The Plaka Restaurant in Kenmore, Julie Blackman, Farers & Artisans in Snyder and Stacey & Aaron Siegel, along with Susan Swiatkowski discussing a gala dinner to benefit the Olmsted Parks.