Game day or any day, there is nothing like a chicken wing. Football tailgate fans and others will be flapping about chicken wings in Huntington this weekend as there is no shortage of one of the country’s favorite all-American snacks. The fourth annual Wing Fling is from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

“The management company SMG has seen venue created events take off in other cities, including wing flings in cities that have college football teams as a way to bring the love of tailgating, sports and wings under one roof for an afternoon of fun for the entire family,” said Veronica Ratcliff, director of marketing and convention center sales at the arena.

“The Planet provides a DJ and big screens are set up to watch college football while sampling the food,” she noted.

The all-you-can-eat wing festival features samplings using dry rubs and special sauces from 12 local restaurants/vendors from Ohio and West Virginia. Last year, there were 18 entries in the festival of these handheld meaty delights in their more flavors than an ice cream shop.

The six repeats coming back into action this year include They include Roosters, Cabell Midland High School Knights of the Round Table, Highway 55, Holiday Inn, Max and Erma’s and Big Sandy Superstore Arena Catering. Texas Roadhouse-Huntington, Holy Smoke BBQ, Big L’s Chicken, Davis’ Place Neighborhood Bar & Grill, Rio Grande Restaurant and Rudy’s Pizzeria are added to the roster of new participants.

The event, sponsored by Huntington Bank, Republic Services, Sprint, Kindred Communications, WOWK and The Herald-Dispatch, includes a “King of the Wings” wing eating contest sponsored by Rooster’s, as well as a Battle for Bragging Rights — fan favorite contest in which the restaurant crowned fan (crowd) favorite, receives a traveling trophy. The winner gets tickets to a show, $50 Roosters gift card and a trophy.

Tickets are $20 or $15 with Marshall University ID, which include all-you-can-eat wings. A limited number of VIP tickets are $30, which include two drink vouchers (for beer or soft drinks), 30 minutes early entry and special arena seating.

Chris Warner captured his third “King of the Wings” title during the 2017 Roosters wing eating contest. Judge’s Choice winners were Roosters, Holiday Inn, Texas Roadhouse, Max and Ermas and Pullman Plaza. People’s Choice winners included Holiday Inn, Roosters, Central City Meat Market, Max and Erma’s and Johnny Rayz BBQ.

Although not available at this weekend’s festival, the following recipes are taken from Frank’s Red Hot:


3 pounds chicken wing pieces

3/4 cup Red Hot buffalo wings sauce

1/4 cup tomato ketchup

2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

Bake wings in foil-lined pan at 450 degrees on lowest oven rack for 30 to 40 minutes until crispy, turning once. Mix sauce, ketchup and spice blend. Toss wings in sauce to coat.


2 1/2 pounds chicken wing pieces

1/2 cup RedHot original cayenne pepper sauce

1/3 cup butter, melted

Bake wings in foil-lined pan at 450 degrees 30 minutes until crispy, turning once. Combine RedHot sauce and butter in bowl. Toss wings in sauce to coat completely. Serve with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

These are from Southern Living:


4 pounds chicken wings (about 14 wings)

1/2 cup minced onion

1/4 cup minced garlic

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups milk

3 quarts vegetable oil

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons pepper

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

Pat chicken dry. Place chicken and next four ingredients in large bowl; toss to combine. Whisk together eggs and milk; pour over chicken. Let stand 20 minutes. Pour oil into 7 1/2-quart Dutch oven; heat to 325 degrees. Whisk together flour and next five ingredients in large bowl. Remove chicken from egg mixture, reserving egg mixture. Drain chicken well. Dredge half of chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip chicken in egg mixture, and dredge in flour mixture again. Fry chicken 7 to 9 minutes or until browned. Drain on wire rack over paper towels. Place on wire rack in jelly-roll pan, and keep warm in 200-degree oven. (Do not cover.) Return oil to 325 degrees; repeat dipping instructions with remaining chicken, flour mixture, and egg mixture.

Make-Ahead Tip: Fry chicken up to 1 hour ahead, and keep warm in 200-degree oven. Or, make day before and chill. Serve cold, at room temperature, or warm. To reheat: Bake on wire rack in jelly-roll pan at 300 degrees 45 minutes.

Source: The Associated Press