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Festival History

The National Buffalo Wing Festival celebrates the “Chicken Wing” or as they are known nationally as “Buffalo Wings”, which have become a national food icon. Invented in 1964 at the world-famous Anchor Bar by Frank and Teresa Bellissimo, of Buffalo, NY is the official “Home of the Buffalo Wing”. The popularity of the chicken wing has made it America’s #1 appetizer. Last year alone over 13.5 billion wings were consumed by Americans, 1.3billion on Super Bowl Weekend alone.

In 2001, actor Bill Murray playing Frank Detorre starred in one of his notoriously eclectic movies entitled, “Osmosis Jones.” In this film Murray played the part of an average Joe addicted to fried food and other artery-clogging fares, who was heading to Buffalo New York for… of all things…..a chicken wing festival. Well, as we all know, at that time there WAS NO NATIONAL CHICKEN WING FESTIVAL…at least not yet.

Realizing that one was needed, Drew Cerza, Buffalo’s beloved “Wing King” rallied the community to create what is now one of the most recognized Food Festival in the country. That was 21 years ago. Since then, the festival has welcomed over 1.4 million attendees that have eaten almost 6 million wings weighing more than 220 tons. Over 150 restaurants have participated and over $420,000 has been raised for local charities. The festival has survived a pandemic, inflation and have even hosted a wedding ceremony. The National Buffalo Wing Festival has become one of the best culinary road trips in America.


The National Buffalo Wing Festival returns this year for its second year at Highmark Stadium, the “Home of the Buffalo Bills” on Sept. 3 rd and 4 th . Now in its 21 st year, celebrating its 20 th festival, Wingfest has averaged over , 50,000+ attendees the past 10 years that have been tracked from all 50 states and 44 different countries. We will be featuring 25 local, regional, national and international eateries serving more than 100 styles of chicken wings. Other activities include live music, a baby wing pageant, amateur and XXXHot chicken wing eating competition, celebrity influencer sauce-off competition, bobbing for wings, and the United States Buffalo Wing Eating Championship.

The Wingfest has drawn the attention of media throughout the world, including many appearances on Fox News, CNN, The Travel Channel, The Food Network, CBS Morning Show, ABC News, The View and Regis and Kelly, NBC’S Today Show, and was also the subject for a PBS Documentary. The festival also drew the attention of the Food Network as Food Icon Bobby Flay came to Buffalo for a chicken wing throwdown and Emeril Lagasse filmed the festival for a show on Buffalo Wings.