The 18th Annual WingFest takes place on Sunday, March 5, 2017 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at UIC Pavilion (525 S Racine Ave, Chicago, IL 60607). This will be the festival’s inaugural year at UIC, a larger-than-usual venue that can accommodate more people and about twice as many restaurants. In addition to chefs from more of Chicago’s leading eateries, the entertainment line-up will feature the event’s perennial Blues band, Cadillac Dave & The Chicago Red Hots and an engaging VIP Master of Ceremonies and celebrity judges to be announced.
Some of the 2017 WingFest participants include: Rhyme Or Reason, Howells & Hood, Reggie’s, Gators Wing Shack, Revel, WHISK, Pizano's Pizza, Fabulous Freddies Italian Eatery, McQ’s Bar & Grill, Fire Water BBQ, Buffalo Wings & Rings, Mahoney’s Pub & Grille, Downtown Dogs, with more restaurant announcements to follow, as the event will be cooking over 9,000 pounds of wings! The wing competitors can enter their wings of choice into two of four categories: Mild, Hot, BBQ and Exotic.
“Every year, Chicago’s Best WingFest gets bigger and bigger,” says Lyn McKeaney, owner of the festival’s producer, Lodge Management Group. “We are thrilled to bring the event the Pavilion, which can accommodate more restaurants, increasing the level of competition and the range of wing styles. It truly is the one place where wing lovers get the chance to try Chicago’s best wings.”
WingFest has benefitted various charities over the years and has raised over $150,000 to date. This year’s festival is sponsored by the Illinois Restaurant Association to benefit its Educational Foundation, which is dedicated to working with high school students to build the hospitality workforce through career exploration, workforce development and connections to post-secondary education. The event will also donate a portion of the proceeds to Chicago Neighbors United, a community based organization which provides educational scholarships to inner city youth.
Chicken wing enthusiasts can purchase tickets on Ticketmaster. The next batch of tickets will be release on February 1. General Admission Tickets cost $50 and include admission, all-you-can-eat wings and access to the day’s entertainment. VIP Tickets cost $100 and include all of the above, plus access to VIP lounges, five drink tickets and a fabulous SWAG bag.
For more information, visit wingfest.net.