Wingstock York: Celebrity judge searches for best hot wings
If you go
What: Wingstock York
When: Gates open at noon Saturday, July 18
Where: Santander Stadium, 5 Brooks Robinson Way, York
Tickets: $6 in advance, $8 at the door, free for children under 3. Tickets include three wings, entertainment, a People's Choice Award vote and a chance to win door prizes. Guests can additionally purchase baskets of wings from vendors.
Proceeds benefit: Crispus Attucks
For tickets and more info: Visit wingstockyork.org .
Brian Dempsey has dedicated his life to finding the best tasting chicken wings in America.
During his search, the BringTheWing.com wing judge and taste tester has visited more than 100 restaurants and wing festivals in states, including Illinois, Florida and even Hawaii.
On Saturday, he'll add Pennsylvania to that list when he'll judge the third annual Wingstock York competition at Santander Stadium.
See the photos here.
"I enjoy festivals such as Wingstock York, and, as long as my waistline will allow, I will continue to look for the best wing," Dempsey said.
Dempsey — along with York Daily Record columnist and reporter Mike Argento, Susquehanna Bank executive Andy Klinger and WGAL news anchor Ron Martin — will judge wings from four York County restaurants in three categories: best hot wing, best barbecue wing and best original recipe.
This year's participating restaurants are Acworth Seafood, Kickin' Kadilaks Bar and Grill, West York Inn and Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill.
So, what makes the best chicken wing?
For Dempsey, the answer is simple.
"Have just enough heat to make your mouth sizzle, but not too much were you can't taste the flavor anymore," he said.
Dempsey said he also pays attention to how well the chicken wing is cooked and looks for flavorful sauces with hints of honey, lemon, garlic or other herbs.
But when he judges a wing, Dempsey doesn't just ask others to take his word for it.
At the festival, guests can taste the chicken wings for themselves and even vote for their favorite in the People's Choice Award category. Admission includes three free chicken wings and additional wings will also be available for purchase, event organizer and Crispus Attucks development director Cindy Leiphart said.
Read our On The Menu feature about York's Quaker Steak and Lube, home to award-winning wings.
If chicken wings aren't your thing, vendors will offer some alternatives, Leiphart said. Acworth Seafood will sell crab cakes, subs and stromboli; West York Inn will sell Hatfield hot dogs and pork barbecue; and Kickin' Kadilaks will sell a selection of bottled sauces.
Click here for more photos from this story.
Additional vendors, including Bricker's Famous French Fries, Smoothie King, Little Caesars Pizza and DKMI, will also provide more food options.
New this year, Wingstock York will have a beer garden, featuring samples from seven local craft brewers: Aldus Brewing Co., Crystal Ball Brewing Co., Evolution Craft Brewing Co., Black Cap Brewing Co., South County Brewing Co., Spring House Brewing Co. and Wyndridge Farm, Leiphart said. Guests can get four samples for $10 or one sample for $3.
Also new this year will be the adult trike obstacle course and dunk tank.
Looking for more festivals to go to this summer? Check out our 100 things to do list.
Leiphart said festival organizers try to include family-friendly games each year for guests of all ages to watch and enjoy, such as egg golf, chicken hole (cornhole) and chicken bowling.
"Everything is kid-friendly," Leiphart said.
Other activities include the Best Chicken Lookin' Legs contest, the Crowin' Contest and Egg Roulette.
"Egg Roulette is always a crowd favorite," she said.
The game involves contestants choosing an egg from a carton and smashing it on their foreheads. Those who chose a hard-boiled egg move on in the competition, but the person who chooses the raw egg is out. The winner of this competition wins $500 for their nonprofit, and the winner of the other contests win a $100 prize.
Live music will also be performed by Rockin Horse from 12:30 to 3 p.m. and 2nd Chance Band from 3:30 to 6 p.m.
Last year's event raised about $50,000, and Leiphart said she'd like to see that number again.
Proceeds benefit the programs at Crispus Attucks, such as its child care center, after-school program, employment and training services and active living senior center.
Noon: Gates Open
12:30 p.m.: Best Original Wings contest
12:45 p.m.: Best Barbeque Wings contest
1 p.m.: Best Hot Wings contest
2 p.m.: Chicken Lookin' Legs contest
2:15 p.m.: Crowin' Contest
3 p.m.: Egg Roulette
4:30 p.m.: Wing Eating
4:45 p.m.: Suicide Wing Eating
5:15 p.m.: People's Choice Award
5:30 p.m.: 50/50 Drawing Award
12:30-3 p.m.: Rockin Horse
3:30-6 p.m.: 2nd Chance Band