The Wing & Rock Festival is the country’s third largest chicken wing festival, drawing an average of over 25,000 attendees each year. The annual family-friendly event attracts locals and visitors of all ages, who all delight in a two-day extravaganza filled with live performances, fun activities, and of course – delicious chicken wings and frosty beverages.
Due to the festival’s increasing popularity, it was recently relocated to a more spacious venue: the Etowah River Park in Canton, GA. The sprawling 80-acre park features several top-notch amenities, including a children’s playground, a scenic walking track, and a bridge over the Etowah River, which leads to multi-purpose trails and an outdoor amphitheater.
One of the best chicken wing festivals in the US
As one of the country’s top chicken wing festivals, the Wing & Rock Festival treats festival goers to some of the tastiest chicken wings prepared by local wing experts. The festival typically features about 15 of the best wing vendors in the area, each of them selling around 4,500 wings during the festival.
Organizers have recently allowed vendors to sell other food items in addition to their chicken wings, allowing more bars, restaurants, and specialty food shops to participate in the event.
All participating vendors compete in several contests held throughout the weekend, where they vie for titles such as “People’s Choice Award,” “Best-Tasting Buffalo Sauce,” and “Best Overall Wing.” These competitions are judged by local celebrities as well as festival guests.
One of the highlights during the festival is the wing-eating contest, a competition that determines who can devour the most number of wings within two minutes. Entrance to the wing-eating competition is free and open to all attendees, and is traditionally held on Saturday.
At last year’s festival, participants who registered early got the chance to compete with the 2015 Wing Eating Champion. The top finishers were given trophies and medals, gift certificates, and festival t-shirts.
Winners during the 2016 Wing & Rock Fest
Here are the winners during the 2016 festival:
People’s Choice Award
- First: The Butcher & Bottle Gastro Pub
- Runner-up: Keegan’s Public House
- Third: Uncle C’s Bar-B-Que
Judges Award for Best Buffalo Wing
- First: JD’s BBQ
- Runner-up: The Snug Gastro Pub
- Third: Rocco’s Pub Marietta
Judges Award for Best Overall Wing
- First: Hudson Grille
- Runner-up: The Butcher & Bottle Gastro Pub
- Third: Andretti Indoor Karting & Games
In addition to top-notch wing vendors and the wing eating contest, the festival also features several kid-friendly attractions, which are mostly found at the Kid Zone.
The Kid Zone features activities, booths, a bouncy castle, and other surprises. There’s also an Arts & Crafts area that features sand art booths, caricature drawing, and more.
The Wing & Rock Fest also has a volunteer program that offers several positions with logistics and on-site management during the festival.
Volunteers who complete a five-hour shift during the event will be given two bottles of water, a free meal at the VIP tent, the official festival t-shirt, and a souvenir hat.
To find out more about the Wing & Rock Festival, visit the official website here.