Drew Cerza

The Wing King, Drew Cerza made a stop at The Anchor Bar, home of the original Buffalo Wing, that opened its 10th location after a ceremonial ribbon cutting at 114 Buffalo Ave., in Niagara Falls in 2017.

With this year’s National Buffalo Wing Festival now canceled, organizers say they will attempt to grow the event into a nationwide celebration.

“America’s Greatest Chicken Wing Party” – will serve as a fundraiser for Food Banks in more than 50 major cities across the U.S.. The new concept will take place in October as part of the newly created “National Chicken Wing Month,” according to Drew Cerza, founder of the festival.

Festival organizers will coordinate with chicken wing fans and Buffalo expats from across the U.S. to host chicken wing parties in major U.S. cities.

Since its founding, the Wingfest has raised approximately $400,000 for local charities with most going to hunger relief agencies like FeedMore WNY (formerly the Food Bank and Meals on Wheels). These chicken wing parties will allow the festival’s fundraising efforts to expand nationwide at a time of critical need for food banks. The parties will also focus on boosting business at chicken wing eateries across the country, of which many are struggling during the pandemic.

Buffalo Bills Backers Fan Clubs in each city will kick off the month on Oct. 4 by hosting watch parties at their favorite restaurants and bars during the Buffalo Bills vs Las Vegas Raiders game. Each wing party will serve as a fundraiser for the local food bank in that city, Cerza said.

Throughout October, Americans are then encouraged to host their own wing eating gatherings as professional or college football watch parties at their favorite restaurants and bars or at their home and post their images to social media using the hashtag #wingparty2020. Every party that registers will be entered into a contest to attend the 2021 Wingfest as VIP judges. Attendees will be asked to put together some money and create a donation for their local food bank.

“This is an unprecedented reimagining of an American food festival. No other such event has ever attempted something like this before,” Cerza said. “For years, I’ve heard from Wingfest attendees from across the U.S. who wanted us to bring a celebration of wings to their hometown. This year, we’re doing just that – all while raising money for a great cause.”

Del Reid, Bills Mafia co-founder, said he was excited to mobilize the Buffalo Bills Backers Clubs and the “Bills Mafia” – expats who retain a strong affinity and enthusiasm for Buffalo and now live across the United States – for America’s Greatest Chicken Wing Party.

“Buffalonians are always eager to step up and help out,” Reid said. “We’re excited to get together and feast on our favorite food from our hometown this fall for a great cause.”

The Wingfest has been held every Labor Day weekend in downtown Buffalo since 2002. It was scheduled to take place at Sahlen Field but was canceled out of an abundance of caution due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information can be found at www.chickenwingusa.com.

Recommended for you