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Chicken Wing Festival Promotion Hits the Road

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo chicken wing has hit the road to celebrate its 40th birthday. The Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau has kicked off the "Road to Buffalo Tour 2004."

A 40th birthday bash for the creation of the chicken wing was held in Niagara Square Monday where a few thousand wings were served to the public. RVs are heading out of the region to promote Buffalo as a vacation destination and the Labor Day weekend National Chicken Wing Festival.

The road tour will bring a taste of chicken wings from its birthplace, the Anchor bar. Thousands of wings will be served to people in Erie, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Cleveland. Anchor Bar owner Ivano Tuscani says he is working on franchising the Anchor Bar. Tuscani tells WBFO News that he expects Anchor Bars to open by mid to late September.

"We are going to have Anchor Bars in Las Vegas, Orlando, New York City and Toronto," Tuscani said. "We also have people interested in Korea and Japan. Who knows what will happen?"

The Anchor Bar already ships its chicken wing sauce as far as Japan, Italy and Germany. Tuscani says it was the wife of the former owner of the Anchor Bar, Teresa Bellissimo, who created the chicken wings as a late-night snack for her son back in 1964. Tuscani had tears in his eyes as he remembered Teresa at Monday's 40th birthday celebration of the chicken wing.

"I wish that Teresa could be here today to see this because she is the one that did all this," Tscani said.

The Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau says the chicken wing an "icon" of food for this region.