Preparing for the National Buffalo Wing Festival
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - This wekend, about half a million chicken wings will be fried up during the National Buffalo Wing Festival at Coca Cola Field.
With that many wings to make, there's a lot to set up for.
"The cooking station with all the fryers, it's a very intense setup," said Drew Cerza, the self-proclaimed Wing King and festival organizer. "The electric, all the cables being run, tables and chairs and tents on the field, all the merchandise, all the beer and the soda, all the refrigerated trucks, everything behind the scenes needs to get in place before Saturday."
When you're dealing with that much equipment, you need a lot of cooks in the kitchen. "We probably have 50 people in the cooking tent, and the tent actually reaches temperatures of about 120 degrees. Saturday's supposed to be really hot, so we get them as many fluids as possible."
Cerza is ready for the hot weekend. Forecasters say temperatures will reach near 90 degrees on Saturday. It brings up the question, which is hotter, the temperature or the wings?
"The wings are always hotter, but I'll tell you what's not bad about 90 degrees this weekend. Last summer, it was hot every day, so by the time it's a hot weekend at the end of summer people are done. We haven't even had summer yet, so I think people should come out, enjoy, and embrace 90 like they've never embraced 90 before."
Despite all the setup that needs to be done, Cerza says he's ahead of schedule compared to years past when the Bisons' schedule would force his crew to do all preparations in just over a day. This year, the Bisons had their last home game on Tuesday.
The Wing Fest is this Saturday and Sunday, admission is 5 dollars.