Wing Wars is here. The first annual festival dedicated exclusively to everyone’s favorite appetizer takes flight Saturday, November 17that Central City BBQ when 20 restaurants will smoke, baste, sauce and fry over 40,000 chicken wings. The inaugural-ticketed event expects to draw 3,000 people to the Smoke Yard at Central City BBQ and includes performances by Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Water Seed, Sexual Thunder!, and The Marc Stone Band. $10 Early bird tickets available for a limited time at nolawingwars.com.
Conceived and produced by Marc Bonifacic of Central City BBQ and Shane Finkelstein, producer of the wildly popular Top Taco Nola and owner of Nacho Mama’s Mexican Grill, Wing Wars will showcase 20 local and regional restaurants as they compete to serve the winning wing. Competing restaurants include: 14 Parishes, Barcadia, Bayou Hot Wings, Bourrée, Brown Butter, Café Reconcile, Fharmacy, Fins and Feathers, McClure’s BBQ, Moe’s BBQ, Mopho, Picayune Social House, Tracey’s and the Ya-ka-mein Lady.
Wings will cost just $1.00 each. A portion of proceeds from the festival will benefit the Central City neighborhood that is home to the venue, via the Central City BBQ Foundation.
“New Orleans has become a BBQ town. Wing Wars is a chance to sample the best of the best, and compare our local wings with regional offerings while raising money for one of New Orleans’ most important neighborhoods,” said Finkelstein. Top Taco, Finkelstein’s other festival, raised over $45,000.00 for local foster children over the past two years. Beneficiaries of the Central City BBQ Foundation will include Café Reconcile, a job-training restaurant for at-risk youth.
Football will be in the air at Wing Wars, which will feature 15-foot big screen televisions so attendees won’t have to sacrifice a day of college football watching. The following day, the Saints play the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles in the Superdome.
Central City BBQ, which includes over 35,000 square feet of both indoor and outdoor space, is located just off 1-90 across from St. John’s the Baptist Church. The restaurant’s enclosed Smoke Yard is also home to NOLA Crawfish Festival, Marley Gras Jerk Chicken Festival and NOLA Caribbean Festival. Owner and Wing Wars producer Bonifacic is looking forward to hosting some of his fellow BBQ and fry masters and as they go wing to wing for a good cause.
“Who doesn’t love wings,” he asked, “and what better way to celebrate the heart of football season than a chicken wing festival?” Fest-goers and judges will vote for their favorite wings and crown “King (or Queen) of the Wing.” Winners will receive bragging rights as well as NOLA Cutting Board trophies and other great prizes.
Wing Wars take place Saturday, November 17th from 3:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at Central City BBQ, 1201 S. Rampart Street in Central City. General admission to Wing Wars is $10.00 early bird, $15.00 in advance, and $20.00 at the door. VIP tickets are available now for $50.00, in advance for $60.00, and at the door for $75.00. VIP tickets include access to the NOLA Brewing beer tent, premium open bar sponsored by Beam Suntory, lounge seating, stage access, and complimentary bbq and wings from Central City BBQ. Wing Wars sponsors include NOLA Brewing Company, Reinhart Foodservice, Makers Mark, Effen Vodka, B97, Where Yat Magazine, Event Rentals and Everfest.