National Buffalo Wing Festival

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National Buffalo Wing Festival
Buffalo wing festival.jpg
Buffalo wing fest crowd.jpg
Date(s) Labor Day weekend
Frequency Annual
Location(s) Coca-Cola Field
Years active 13
Inaugurated 2002 (2002)
Attendance 80,000/yr
Organized by Drew Cerza
Buffalo chicken wings

National Buffalo Wing Festival or wing fest is a weekend festival held at Coca-Cola Field in downtown Buffalo, New York, USA, celebrating the Buffalo style chicken wing. The festival is held on Labor Day weekend and culminates with the IFOCE sanctioned Buffalo Wing eating contest.

Event history[edit]

The first festival was held in 2002. Founder Drew Cerza, called the "Wing King" by The Buffalo News, was said to have modeled the event on a fictitious festival from the movie Osmosis Jones.[1] Though it has been claimed that this is the first festival of its kind, WingStock on Main Street in Downtown Buffalo was held annually prior to the first National Buffalo Wing Festival.The first Wingstock was in 1997 and won by Ray Jay's Bar on Broadway in Cheektowaga and was held at the Radisson Hotel on Genesee street. Drew Cerza paved the way for the Chicken Wing Hall of Fame and made Buffalo the birthplace of the chicken wings.

Jill Greenburg said, "Of local festivals that have come and gone the Wing Fest’s staying power is a result of raising approximately $200,000 for local charities and serving almost 3 million chicken wings with 100 sauce varieties to over half a million hungry visitors over the years." In 2010, the festival was video webcast live to over 84,000 online viewers.[2]

On September 2, 2012 Joey Chestnut consumed 191 wings, 7.61 pounds (3.45 kg), in 12 minutes to take competitive-eating trophy from the five-year champion Sonya Thomas.[3]

Event contests[edit]

Contests at the National Buffalo Wing Festival include:[4]

  • US Chicken Wing Eating Championship
  • Amateur Chicken Wing Eating
  • Amateur Traditional Sauce Contest
  • Amateur Creative Sauce Contest
  • Ridiculously Hot Wing Eating Contest
  • Miss Buffalo Wing
  • Bobbing for Wings
  • Baby Wing
  • Buffalo Buffet Bowl
  • Yancey's Fancy Cheesiest Couple Contest
  • Yancey's Fancy Cheesy Dance-Off Contest
  • Battle of the Border
  • College Wing Eating Competition


  • 2010 Attendance: 71,000[5]
  • 2011 Attendance: 85,000[6]
  • 1 wedding has occurred at the festival [7]
  • Prize Money Breakdown:[8]
    • 1st Place: $1500
    • 2nd Place: $750
    • 3rd Place: $300

US chicken wing eating championship competition winners[edit]

  Date Name Chicken wings Time Notes
I September 2, 2002 N/A N/A 12 minutes First year
II September 1, 2003 United States Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas 134 12 minutes
III September 1, 2004 United States Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas 161 12 minutes Event record
IV September 3, 2005 United States Eric "Badlands" Booker 137 12 minutes
V September 2, 2006 United States Chip Simpson 158 12 minutes
VI September 1, 2007 United States Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas 173 12 minutes Event record
VII August 30, 2008 United States Sonya "Black Widow" Thomas 165 12 minutes
VIII September 6, 2009 United StatesSonya "Black Widow" Thomas 169 12 minutes
IX September 5, 2010 United StatesSonya "Black Widow" Thomas 181 12 minutes Event record[9]
X September 4, 2011 United StatesSonya "Black Widow" Thomas 183 12 minutes Event record
XI September 2, 2012 United States Joey "Jaws" Chestnut 191 12 minutes Event record[10]
XII September 1, 2013 United States Miki Sudo 178 12 minutes
XIII August 31, 2014 United States Joey "Jaws" Chestnut 192 12 minutes Event record


Every year the festival brings in top quality entertainers. There are always new and exciting entertainers each year. Several entertainers also appear year after year including Quiz Master Dennis George, Elvis Tribute Artist Terry Evans and Balloon Entertainers Dennis & Karen Regling.


  1. ^ Klinck, Patrick (September 1, 2012). "Buffalo Wing Festival Starts Second Decade in a Big Way". Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Baldwin, Richard (September 5, 2012). "He ate 191 wings, but who's counting?". The Buffalo News. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Contest Information". National Buffalo Wing Festival. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ "2010 Wing Fest Draws From All 50 States and 36 Countries!". Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  6. ^ Gallman, Stephanie (September 5, 2011). "Chicken wing festival is a fowl success -- 85,000 flock to Buffalo". CNN. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "U.S. Buffalo Wing Eating Championship". IFOCE. 2008-08-30. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ "2010 National Buffalo Wing Festival - Black Widow Wins". September 6, 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Chestnut eats record 191 wings in 12 minutes". timesheraldonline. September 2, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 

External links[edit]