BUFFALO, NY - Organizers of the National Buffalo Wing Festival promise this year's 11th anniversary event is going to be bigger than ever. It's bigger because they've signed with a new supplier who's delivering 80,000 pounds of jumbo-size wings -- nearly double the size of wings served in recent years.
On Friday, crews at Coca-Cola Field in Downtown Buffalo were readying the ballpark for the festival, which runs from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
Click on the video player above to watch 2 On Your Side's interview with "Wing King" Drew Cerza Friday morning.
The jumbo wings will be prepared by 30 or so local and national restaurants and food vendors while competitors square off in a number of wing-themed competitions, including: the "Sauce-off" competitions, amateur Chicken Wing Eating challenge, the famous "Bobbing for Wings" event (also known as the "Blue Cheese Bowl"), the Miss Buffalo Wing Pageant and the Baby Wing contest. Yancey's Fancy will host another two contests, including the Cheesiest Couple event.
As always, the United States Chicken Wing Eating Championship will be a highlight of the 2012 "Wing Fest" as World Champion Sonya Thomas attempts to defend her title and extend her consecutive win streak to five.
Entertainment will be provided by the likes of Terry Buckwald, Pirate Dreams, Lee Ron Zydeco, the Eric Van Houten Band, S.B. Reeves Outfit and 90 West, plus the debut of the festival's own house band, The Heavenly Chillbilles, on the main contest stage.
Master of Ceremonies Dennis George, the "Quiz Master," will be introducing all of the contests and attractions, in addition to performing his own quiz show. And the ever-popular Kid Zone will be up and running throughout the festival.
Cerza says the festival has raised more than a quarter-of-a-million dollars for local charities over the past decade. This year's beneficiaries include the Alzheimers Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Food Bank of WNY and Meals on Wheels.
Cerza brought the festival to life in 2002 after a fictional National Buffalo Wing Festival -- "the Super Bowl of junk food" -- played a prominent role in the Bill Murray movie "Osmosis Jones."
Admission tickets are $5 per day; children 8 and under are admitted free.