LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — It was the second and final day of the Michigan Chicken Wing Festival, and hundreds filled Adado Riverfront Park to get a taste of some of the best wings Michigan and other states had to offer.
“Something everyone loves is chicken wings,” said Shirley Carter-Powell, president and founder of Against All Odds, a nonprofit organization that supports cancer survivors and their families. “I think it brings something for the community to do Labor Day weekend. Because I know a lot of people have an opportunity to travel, but then there’s ones that don’t.”
The festival began in 2015 at Adado Riverfront Park. Since then it’s grown to be well-known, with vendors coming from New York and even Florida to share their wings with Lansing.
“Everybody loves chicken wings. It’s an American tradition, at least with us,” said Paul Pritchett, owner of Big Moe’s Barbeque. “So every chance we get, we cook chicken wings. And we love them whether they’re barbequed, fried or baked.”
Organizers say the festival is a fundraiser for the nonprofit that Carter-Powell started, Against All Odds.
“It raises funds for those who are fighting cancer. I’m a breast cancer survivor and so I do this to give back to the community,” said event host Tamilikia Foster. “It’s a great event, and the proceeds, everyone doesn’t realize, their tickets when they buy them help a family in the community that is fighting cancer. Help pay their rent, their bills, or whatever shortcomings they may have with an insurance company.”
Twenty-two wing flavors were available today, so there was something for just about everyone. There was also a big competition taking place to see who could eat the most hot wings.
“They have five minutes to eat, and they have three minutes to burn, so they can’t drink anything,” said Foster. “And the chicken is so hot, you can smell the heat on stage.”
As for how many wings the winner of the competition might get down?
“I think someone might get to maybe 50 wings by themselves–I could definitely see that happening,” said festival attendee Bryan Johnson.
Organizers said the festival had been rated number 16 three years in a row in Michigan–a state known for having just about every kind of festival between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The event ends Sunday at 9 p.m., but organizers say it will be back next year.