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Eat up! 2022 Big Kahuna Wing Festival kicks off Sunday

During the 9th annual Big Kahuna Wing Festival, organizers will celebrate the Buffalo wing.
Credit: Big Kahuna Wing Festival

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — On Sunday, hungry people will fill World's Fair Park to eat as many chicken wings as they can during the 2022 Big Kahuna Wing Festival.

It will be the ninth annual festival, and organizers said they planned to celebrate the creation of the Buffalo wing this year. It started landing on people's plates in 1964 when Teresa Bellisimo invented it at the Anchor Bar. Since then, it's become a part of celebrations and parties across the U.S. Around 20 billion wings were eaten by Americans alone last year alone.

The Big Kahuna Wing Festival also brought out around 8,000 attendees last year. There, they tried more than 100 different sauces from 40 different teams who represented restaurants and businesses. The University of Tennessee Culinary Institute also attended last year's event.

This year, the festival is raising money to benefit the institute as well as the Empty Stocking Fund, the East Tennessee Children's Hospital and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley.

There will be a competition to see who can cook the best chicken wing, and there will also be a competition to see who can eat the most wings in a short amount of time.

There will even be a "Bobbing for Wings" competition where participants need to pluck as many chicken wings as they can from a pool of ranch dressing, using only their mouths.

For attendees not interested in the competitions, there will also be more than 15,000 pounds of wings with recipes from around the world. There will also be a fireworks show and a silent auction. The online auction is also already up where people can bid for jewelry, stays at hotels and different kinds of art.

It starts at 3 p.m. at World's Fair Park and lasts until 9 p.m. Tickets will cost $30 at the gate, or $10 for a non-wing eating ticket online and $20 for an advance ticket.

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