MARCH 2011: Charity Corner - WINGFEST: 16th Annual Festival Signals Beginning of Spring
Author: Mark Kreuzwieser
Get your napkins—heck, forget napkins—your paper towels, industrial-strength wipettes and full-frontal bibs handy for the 16th Hargray WingFest on March 19, arguably Hilton Head Island’s largest annual one-day festival.
The mega event from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Shelter Cove Community Park will again feature restaurants’ and organizations’ best attempts to garner the top awards for the finest wings and sauces along with live music, games and activities for the kids and a big-screen TV for March Madness basketball addicts.
“It’s a huge, all-day event, just non-stop and full throttle,” said Joe Cain, the Island Rec Center’s hard-working and dedicated special events coordinator and director of Hargray WingFest 16. “I fully expect 5,000 people to attend at some point during the seven hours.”
Music is always a big part of Wing Fest, and returning bands include locals Deaz Guys and Atlanta’s The Good People.
Professional judging of the best wings and sauce starts at 1:30 p.m., and regular folks are encouraged to vote for their favorites before 4 p.m. Cain doesn’t participate for political reasons. “I don’t want to be accused of pre-judging in the contest, so I’m just a runner [of the votes],” he joked.
As always, look for a mind-blowing variety of wings and sauces, from super hot to fancy-schmancy fit for a French restaurant. Cain forecasts some crazy recipes, but as usual, he advises contestants to keep the sauce fairly cool lest they incinerate their chances with sensitive judges.
Expected back from last year’s participating restaurants and bars are Wild Wing Café, Remy’s Bar and Grill, Street Meet, Smoke House, Kenny B’s, Pizza Hut, L’ Wood’s Local Pub and Eatery, One Hot Mamas, Hilton Head Diner, Murphy’s Irish Pub, GW’s, Aunt Chilada’s, Reilley’s, and the Hilton Head Brewing Co. There will also be plenty of suds to cool off burning palates.
WingFest is one of Hilton Head’s biggest parties, and the community always kicks in to help. More than 75 volunteers will assist in the festival. “WingFest has become the traditional kick-off to Hilton Head’s spring, and everyone lends a hand,” Cain said.
Admission is $5; children 12 and under are admitted free. Food sold separately. All proceeds benefit the Island Recreation Association’s Children’s Scholarship Fund.
Chris & Christian and the marshal dillion band will play from 11 am – 12:30 am.
Deas Guyz from 1 – 3 pm and the Good People from 3:30 to close.
Pictured is Deas Guyz on stage at WingFest 2010.