18th Annual WingFest Sets Date for March
The 18th Annual WingFest takes place on March 5 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at UIC Pavilion (525 S Racine Ave, Chicago). This will be the festival's inaugural year at UIC, a larger-than-usual venue that can accommodate more people and double the number of restaurants cooking up over 9,000 pounds of wings! The Festival's Master of Ceremonies, WGN-TV's Pat Tomasulo, will regale attendees with his unique humor and wit. Music will be provided the event's perennial Blues band, Cadillac Dave & The Chicago Red Hots.
Some of the 2017 WingFest participants include: Rhyme Or Reason, Howells & Hood, Chicago Culinary Kitchen, Son of A Butcher Tavern, River Forest Catering, Q's Tips & Wings Bar-B-Que, Reggie's, Gators Wing Shack, Revel, WHISK, Paisan's Pizza, McQ's Bar & Grill, Fire Water BBQ, Buffalo Wings & Rings, Mahoney's Pub & Grille, Downtown Dogs, with more restaurant announcements to follow.
Festival-goers will be treated to a variety of wings from some of Chicago's leading chefs, sampling submissions in Mild, Hot, BBQ and Exotic categories to win Best of Fest, which receives a traveling trophy, the Stanley Cup of wings. In addition, the event will host its annual wing eating competition to see who can eat a dozen of wings that fastest. The winner will be crowned Lady or Lord of the Wings, receive WingFest swag and bragging rights.
"Every year, Chicago's Best WingFest gets bigger and bigger," says Lyn McKeaney, owner of the festival's producer, Lodge Management Group. "We are thrilled to bring the event to the Pavilion, which can accommodate more restaurants, increasing the level of competition and the range of wing styles. It truly is the one place where wing lovers get the chance to try Chicago's best wings."
WingFest has benefitted various charities over the years and has raised over $150,000 to date. This year's festival will raise money for the Illinois Restaurant Association's Educational Foundation.
2017 Sponsors include Lagunitas Brewing Company, Sysco, Tabasco, Red Bull, The Great Plate and Passanante's Home Food Services.
Chicken wing enthusiasts can purchase tickets on Ticketmaster. The final batch of tickets will be released on February 1. General Admission Tickets cost $50 and include admission, all-you-can-eat wings and access to the day's entertainment. VIP Tickets cost $100 and include all of the above, plus access to VIP lounges, five drink tickets and a fabulous SWAG bag.