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Everything that you need to know about the 2018 National Buffalo Wing Festival

When it comes to festivals in Buffalo, there is one that reins supreme. Did you know that the National Buffalo Wing Festival attracts over 70,000 people, from all 50 states, and 44 different countries? Now, we are all well aware that there are some incredible festivals in Buffalo. Festivals are a dime a dozen in this city. But the National Buffalo Wing Festival takes the cake for being very Buffalo-centric because it is built around the world’s love of the chicken wing – a finger food that has climbed the ranks to rival the world’s love of pizza.

Drew Cerza was inspired to start to National Buffalo Wing Festival after watching actor Bill Murray portray a compulsive eater with a goal of attending the Super Bowl of junk food in the movie Osmosis Jones.

On Saturday, September 1, and Sunday, September 2, 28 local, regional, national and international eateries will come together at Coca-Cola Field to serve up over 100 styles of chicken wings. While the festival atmosphere revolves around eating wings, there’s plenty of other pageantry weaved into the day long celebration, including a Chicken Wing 5K, and a Miss Buffalo Wing Pageant.

Because there is so much going on during the event, we’ve decided to pass along Drew Cerza’s (The Wing King – lead image) breakdown of activities and events, which include a mechanical chicken wing ride.

Aside from all of the chicken wing craziness, the festival has managed to raise more than $365K for local charities since it first launched 16 years ago. This year’s beneficiaries including Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter, Food Bank of WNY and Meals on Wheels for Western New York Inc.

2018 National Buffalo Wing Festival

Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018

12:00PM   Festival Opens

12:00PM   Miss Buffalo Wing Pageant

1:30PM     Amateur Creative Sauce-Off

2:00PM     Amateur Traditional Sauce-Off

3:00PM     Bobbing for Wings

4:00PM     Dennis George Quiz Master Show

4:30PM     Amateur Wing Eating Champ.

5:00PM     Restaurant Awards Ceremony

6:00PM     Buffalo Buffet Bowl

7:00PM     Live Music – Rough Stock Band

8:00PM     Live Music – Keith James

9:00PM    Closing Ceremonies

Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018

11:00AM     5K Chicken Wing Run

1:00PM      Baby Wing Competition

1:30PM       Dennis George – QuizMaster

2:00PM       Heavenly Chillbillies Band

2:30PM       College Wing Eating Comp.

3:00PM       Bobbing for Wings

3:30PM       Heavenly Chillbillies Band

4:00PM       Hot Wing Eating Contest

5:00PM       United States Chicken Wing Eating Championship

5:45PM       Dennis George – QuizMaster

6:00PM       Heavenly Chilbillies Band

7:00PM       Closing Ceremonies


Wing & Food Vendors

Anchor Bar-Buffalo, NY

Bocce Club Pizza-Amherst, NY

Boneheads Wing Bar- West Warwick, RI

Buffalo Wild Wings-National

Center Street Grille-Enola, PA

Chrusciki Bakery- Buffalo, NY

Danny’s South-Orchard Park, NY

Doc Sullivan’s- Buffalo, NY

Falletta’s Restaurant-Clarence, NY

Fire on the Mountain- Portland, OR

Forghedaboudit-Deming, New Mexico

J.B. Quimby’s-Rochester, NY

Legend Larry’s-Sheboygan, WI

Millie’s Café-Ottoville, OH

Perry’s Ice Cream-Akron, NY

Pop In Bob’s Kettle Corn-Buffalo, NY

Quaker Steak & Lube-National

Sticky Wings-London, England

The Blind Rhino-Norwalk, CT

The Dirty Buffalo-Norfolk, VA

The Old Union Hotel-Binghamton, NY

Original Crunch Roll Factory-Buffalo, NY

Windjammer’s Bar and Grill-Rochester, NY

Wings Army-Mexico

Competitive Food Eating

U.S. Chicken Wing Eating Championship

Buffalo Buffet Bowl Eating Contest

Amateur Wing Eating Championship

Hot Wing Eating Championship

College Wing Eating Competition

Amateur Cook-Offs

Amateur Creative Sauce-Off

Amateur Traditional Sauce-Off


Baby Wing Contest

Miss Buffalo Wing Pageant

Other Signature Events

Bobbing for Wings

National Restaurant Sauce-Off Competition

Craft Beer Corner

Resurgence Brewing Company

Big Ditch Brewing Company

Flying Bison Brewing Company

Community Beer Works

Live Music and Entertainment Offerings

Live Country Music by the Rough Stock Band

Keith James

Acclaimed Quiz Master Dennis George puts on trivia and Family Feud-style shows

Mechanical Chicken Wing Ride

Back by popular demand, the mechanical chicken wing ride will be back at the Wingfest. Similar to a mechanical bull ride, except shaped in the form of a chicken wing, attendees can challenge their friends and see if they can ride like a real cowboy. The ride is enclosed in a large blowup plastic pool to ensure safety for all riders and is speed controlled based on the age of the rider. Prizes will be given to the five riders that last the longest on the wing.

VIP Party Deck – “Wing It InStyle”

For just $30, guests can get the royal treatment with festival admission, private seating, table service, one complimentary beverage, private VIP cash bar, VIP badge, commemorative 17th annual cup as well as a Commemorative “Wingfest Great Plate”, $5 off a festival t-shirt, and prime views of the main field and entertainment stage. Free wine and spirit tastings will also be available.

Buffalo Ninja Challenge

The Wingfest welcomes back the Buffalo Ninja Challenge. Building on NBC’s wildly popular American Ninja Warrior series, the National Buffalo Wing Festival will now offer those who think they’ve got what it takes the experience of becoming the ninja warrior on this very unique course. New this year, all attendees can attempt the course for a $5 fee. The Buffalo Ninja Challenge is open to both kids and adults looking to compete on a five-station obstacle course—just like the ones seen on TV. Buffalo’s own American Ninja Warrior, Patrick Hall (Season 5), will serve as the host all weekend long.

Covered On-Field Seating

The National Buffalo Wing Festival offers guests the opportunity to enjoy their wings with on-field seating underneath a large big top tent which extends from third base to second base and is open to all festivalgoers for relief from sun or just to sit, relax and enjoy their wings!

Chicken Wing 5K

Continuing the tradition of adding an ironic healthy twist at the Wingfest, the Chicken Wing 5K Run will be held on Sept. 2nd at 11 a.m. The race takes runners on a scenic 3.1-mile circular route that winds through downtown Buffalo and beyond (view race map here). The USATF certified and sanctioned race route takes participants through the Inner Harbor and industrial sections of Buffalo under new development—an area that perfectly blends the beauty of old Buffalo with the promise of the city’s future. The Run is sponsored by The Buffalo News and WKBW TV7.

2018 National Buffalo Wing Festival

Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 (12-9pm)

Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018 (12-7pm)

Coca-Cola Field (275 Washington Street, Buffalo, 14203)

Admission is $5. Children under 8 are free

Lead image courtesy National Buffalo Wing Festival

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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