Hot Wing Festival at Tiger Lane 

When you hear the strains of "When the Saints [in this case, hens] Come Marching In" played by the Memphis Second Line String Band, you know the Southern Hotwing Festival is in full force.

Sixty-two teams will participate in the 17th annual festival, which will take place between 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 13th (rain date April 14th) at Tiger Lane. The parade featuring three hens and two roosters will be at 1:30 p.m.

This year's event will also include a wing-eating contest with a $400 prize and a cornhole tournament, which will include 32 teams.

click to enlarge Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing.
  • Ain’t no thing but a chicken wing.

The festival will feature an "array of chicken wings you can sample for a small donation," says chair/founder Paul Gagliano. "You can try any one of those. Every type of flavor there is."

The event has raised more than $240,000 for Ronald McDonald House.

The Southern Hotwing Festival draws about 10,000 people each year, Gagliano says. But he still remembers that first festival, which featured seven teams. It was held at the old Poplar Lounge. About 50 people attended.

Buffalo Soldiers, a team that was at that first festival and ended up winning it three times, is "still with us after all these years," Gagliano says.

Southern Hotwing Festival tickets are $17 in advance and $22 the day of the event. Each ticket purchase will include three "Wing Bucks," which will enable tickets holders to sample three wings at the festival.

For more information, go to southernhotwingfestival.com

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