The spaces for pre-qualifiers for the annual Hot Wing Eating Contest at the World Chicken Festival is getting smaller, with only one week left before the competition ends.
Four people tried to endure the spicy, secret sauce for Wednesday's hot wing eating contest at Old Town Grill, adding to the list of those who will have seats at the table for the prize winning contest on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 1 p.m. The contest will take place in front of the SAM Windstream Kinetic stage on Broad Streeet.
Old Town Grill has sponsored the hot wing eating contest for the past several years and began the pre-qualifying rounds in August. Those who qualify will have a guaranteed seat at the table for the WCF contest, although there are some seats still open for walk-up registration on the day of the event.
Mike Caffrey, owner of the London OTG, said the competition generates a lot of fun for both the contestants and the observers each week. Although this past Wednesday's participation was down, Caffrey said the turnout this year has been good, with past winners vying to repeat their success in the weekly contests.
"We have a secret hot sauce, made by my son Matt," he said.
The competition allows contestants to try to eat 3 pounds of hot wings in 5 minutes. Registration is $5 per person competing. The buckets with the wings are weighed before the competition, then weighed afterwards to determine who consumed the most wings. Contestants are provided with bottled water to douse their tastebuds (and cool off their mouths) during the competition.
"We're hoping we get more people next week for the final competition," Caffrey said. "It's a lot of fun and it saves you a seat at the real Hot Wing Eating Contest at the Chicken Festival."