National Buffalo Wing Festival Brings Record Crowd

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The National Buffalo Wing Festival is underway this weekend at the Coca-Cola field in downtown Buffalo.

"Wing King" and festival founder Drew Cerza says it continues to grow in popularity.

"You know, certain things as a festival takes you up to that next level, and I really think because ESPN is broadcasting our festival live for the eating contest, it's one of those things that's going to step us up a notch. It's a great way to showcase Buffalo," Cerza said on Saturday.

Returning fans of the chicken wing have learned the ins and outs of this festival, and those folks come with a strategy.

David Stettler, from Cleveland, Ohio, brought his own fold-up table and set it up right in the middle of the festival.

"They brought chairs [last year], I didn't, and it was horrible. Then we decided well it was a lot easier too to have to put food on rather than holding it in your lap," he said.

For the most part though, fans are simply here to try a wide variety of one of Western New York's most iconic food.

New this year: the participation of Duff's among the almost 30 at Coke field cooking up wings.

"They're loving it. We're serving mild, medium, hot, death. We're rocking, so, we're doing good," said Nate Powers, who helped serve Duff's wings.

With temperatures reaching the upper 80s on Saturday, though, attendees at this festival need to be able take the heart and remember to stay hydrated.

The wing fest continues until 9 p.m. on Saturday and from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Sunday.

ESPN 3 will carry the National Wing Eating Contest Sunday at 5:00 p.m.


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