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Chicken Wing Fest Will Serve Millionth Wing

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – The fourth annual National Chicken Wing Festival is drawing near. It takes place September 2nd through the 4th at Dunn Tire Park downtown.

Downtown office workers Tuesday had a chance to nosh on some wings during a festival preview in Niagara Square. Festival founder Drew Cerza says this year's festival will celebrate a milestone.

"We're going to serve our one millionth chicken wing on the Friday night (of the festival)," Cerza said. "It's amazing that we're going into our fourth year. It's been a great success because of the collaboration and support of the community."

The wing fest has been embraced by the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau. Despite its shaky start in 2002, the National Chicken Wing Festival has developed into a major event that Mayor Anthony Masiello says attracts tourists from surrounding states.

"We're going to have a lot of people coming from northern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, central New York and Southern Ontario," Masiello said. "They all want to come here and have a good time. It's cheap. It's family driven. It's the type of activity that gives us a chance to showcase our city in a very positive light."

This year's wing fest will feature appearances by two stars of MTV's "Real World." And the nation's top ranked competitive eater Sonya Thomas will return to defend her title in the US Chicken Wing Eating Championship.

Some 400,000 wings are expected to be sold during the Labor Day weekend event.