1st Annual Carolina Wing Festival Announces Winners

Moosehead Bar & Grill and East Coast Wings Take Home Top Honors

Festival organizers announced today that Moosehead Bar & Grill was selected as the Festival Favorite of the Carolina Wing Festival which was held at the Metrolina Trade Show Expo on September 17th. Moosehead sold the most chicken wings at the festival – including some with a Thai Peanut Butter & Jelly wing sauce.

With the victory, Moosehead Bar & Grill wins an automatic entry to represent the Carolinas at the National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, NY next Labor Day Weekend.

“Moosehead Grill thanks all the festival guests and friends for their continued support,” said Chris Neilsen, owner of Moosehead Bar & Grill. “We’re excited to have the clucking rights of Charlotte observed in Buffalo.”

The People’s Choice Award was won by East Coast Wings & Grill out of Winston-Salem, NC. The criteria included a combination of weighted scores of on-line votes, voting by festival attendees and a blind taste test of their sauces judged by an assortment of people from local community.  Wing King Café finished second and FUEL Pizza Café was third in the People’s Choice category.

The Festival Spirit Award went to Hickory Tavern, which received 59% of the on-line vote and was selected by festival organizers as the restaurant that marketed the festival best.

A local restaurant sauce-off was also held at the festival featuring five different categories. It was a blind taste test judged by a panel of local community members and celebrities. The winners were:

Traditional Medium

1st Place – Duckworth’s Grill & Taphouse

2nd Place – Lebowski’s Neighborhood Grill

3rd Place – Buffalo Wild Wings

Traditional Hot

1st Place – East Coast Wings & Grill
2nd Place – Hickory Tavern
3rd Place – Wing King Café

Spicy
1st Place – Moosehead Bar & Grill
2nd Place – Wing Zone
3rd Place – FUEL Pizza

BBQ
1st Place – East Coast Wings & Grill
2nd Place – Lebowski’s Neighborhood Grill
3rd Place – FUEL Pizza

Creative
1st Place – Buffalo Wings & Rings
2nd Place – Big Al’s Pub & Grubberia
3rd Place – Duckworth’s Grill & Taphouse

The festival drew an estimated crowd of 5,000 despite unseasonably cool temperatures for September that barely reached 60 degrees. Festival organizers were encouraged by the energy and excitement from the attendees and the restaurants and plan on coming back to Charlotte next year with the intention to build the Carolina Wing Festival as an annual event for many years to come.

The festival featured over 60 different wing sauces from 15 local and regional restaurants.

Attendees enjoyed live local music and several chicken wing-related contests including the Carolina Wing Eating Championship won by WFNZ Sports Radio 610AM host and former Carolina Panther, Frank Garcia. The festival also raised over $2,500 for The Great Prostate Cancer Challenge, a local organization that is instrumental in the fight against Prostate Cancer.

Participating restaurants included Big Al’s Pub & Grubberia, Brian’s Dog House Grill, Buffalo Wild Wings, Buffalo Wings & Rings, d.d. Peckers’ Wing Shack, Duckworth’s Grill & Taphouse, East Coast Wings & Grill, FUEL Pizza Café, Hickory Tavern, Lebowski’s Neighborhood Grill, Moosehead Bar & Grill, Taste of Buffalo Pizzeria, Wild Wing Café , Wing King Café , Wing Zone.