This August, the St. Catharines Chicken Wing Festival returns to Lakeside Park in Old Port Dalhousie for the third year. Veteran festival goers will note the two-time reigning champions, Kully’s, will be up against some stiff competition including returning rivals, Wrigley’s, Redline BBQ, and Romby’s. New to the field this year will be The Wandering Gourmet and St. Louis Bar & Grill. The soundtrack for this year’s battle for chicken wing greatness will feature local Niagara artists and bands, including Katey Gatta, Probable Fog, Joel van Vliet, Xperience Muzic, Laurel & Hulley, Stereo Sunrise, Pablo Paddy, Everet Luciow, Rod & Mel, Bae Beach Club, and Charles J. Hunk & the Trainwreck.
Wing lovers can also try their hand at the 2nd Annual Wing Fest Ping Pong Tournament, or put their taste buds to the test with the 2018 Wing Fest “Feel the Heat” eating contest, with hot sauce provided by The Pepper Palace. Registration is limited, however, and eating contestants must sign a waiver.
New this year is the Inaugural Wing Fest 5km Fun Run, which is scheduled for Sunday, August 12 at Malcolmson Eco Park. The run is being coordinated through a partnership with Leadership Niagara. According to Wing Fest Board Member, Jeff McGuffin, “It’s a new opportunity to engage with the community, to bring awareness to Community Care, and it’s community-run.” Entrants can sign up ahead of time at the Wing Fest website or register at a booth at the festival.
Another first for 2018 is a recommended (but completely voluntary) donation at the door. “After two events, we were able to give Community Care $8,400,” explained McGuffin, “which was great because it exceeded our expectations as a new event. We would like to grow our ability to help Community Care so that’s why we’re going with the recommended donation at the door of $2, so hopefully we can have more going back to Community Care to help out those in need.”
Wing Fest runs from Saturday, August 11 to Sunday, August 12. More information can be found at wingfest.ca