Over the past weekend, I went to one of Memphis' biggest festivals; the Southern Hot Wing Festival! This is one of my favorites because well....hot wings! This event really brings out lots of people as well. It was prime for people watching, which is truly a Southern tradition, and it did not disappoint! 


Over 50 teams were on site trying to win the $5000 grand prize and bragging rights of having the best wings you can have in the Mid-South. That's enormous pressure, but these teams were up for the task and brought the winning spirit and outrageous costumes to draw more attention. 


This year's festival featured 3 stages for music and also a kids zone for the little ones. I was also pleasantly surprised that the festival was way more organized and able to handle the huge crowd this year. Past festivals were a bit over crowded and the vendors were less likely to hand out samples. I believe Memphians have finally gotten the memo that the samples aren't always free and some of the participants take donations for the Ronald McDonald House. 


It was a really warm spring day, but that didn't stop the contestants or the spectators from taking part in the festivities. I walked the entire festival and I had to take several water breaks. It felt like Memphis in late July! I didn't let that deter me from enjoying myself. I don't think drinking a Tiny Bomb from Wiseacre on a hot day was the best idea, but it definitely wasn't the worst idea I've ever made either. 


This brave soul decided to try 3 of the hottest wings they had! There was a 5 minute time limit and even if you finished early, you had to wait the full 5 minutes before you could drink any water! I never would have made it, but this kid actually did it! He did it in 3 mins. 


The contestants really made this festival a success! They were all very friendly and very confident they had the best wings! I had to snap a few pictures of them, because they all brought their own unique charm to the festival and left a mark! 

The Teams!

Disclaimer: I apologize if I left anyone out! It was not intentional! You all were awesome!


I had a great time at the Southern Hot Wing Festival and I was stuffed leaving! Thank you to Paul Gagliano for all their help and for organizing an incredible event, thanks to all the teams that came out, and thank you to all the attendees for making this event possible!! Great job Memphis!!!!

Life is for Living, 

Michael B. 

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