09/01/2013 03:45 EDT | Updated 10/31/2013 05:12 EDT

Thousands flock to annual chicken wing festival in NY's Buffalo; veggie alternative offered

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Thousands of chicken wing lovers flocked to the annual National Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival in western New York Saturday to experience the latest and greatest in wings — including a meatless alternative offered for the first time in the festival's 12-year history.

Among the 32 vendors hawking their version of the bar food staple at Coca-Cola Field in downtown Buffalo was chef and local TV personality Steven Binks, who served up hummus dip and breaded green beans coated with the right mix of Frank's Original RedHot and gorgonzola cheese.

"It gives it that chicken-y wing-type feel," Binks told The Buffalo news (

The two-day festival features more than 130 different styles of wings, live music and wing-eating contests. Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to attend.

Forty tons of wings that were delivered to the stadium earlier this week will be served up by two dozen restaurants from across the country, said event founder and organizer Drew Cerza.

Among the eateries is Buffalo's Anchor Bar, considered the birthplace of Buffalo-style chicken wings.

This year's festival also included a new ride: A bucking mechanical wing.


Information from: The Buffalo News,