Wing Festival
History & Mission

Discover the backstory behind the National Buffalo Wing Festival, and its evolution into America’s Greatest Chicken Wing Party.

The origins of America’s Greatest Chicken Wing Party lie in a two-day food festival that has brought tens of thousands of visitors to downtown Buffalo, New York every Labor Day Weekend for two decades.

The National Buffalo Wing Festival has become a bucket list, must-visit event for wing aficionados worldwide. Wingfest has attracted more than 1 million visitors from all 50 states, more than 3 dozen countries and every continent (including Antarctica) to Buffalo since it began in 2002. The Wingfest’s mission has remained consistent over the last 18 years: to celebrate one of America’s favorite foods in its birthplace, to elevate the profile of the best wing restaurants from across the United States that converge on the festival, and to raise money for charity. Wingfest has donated nearly $400,000 to FeedMore WNY (formerly the Food Bank of Western New York and Meals on Wheels of Western New York) and other charitable organizations.

For 2020, the Wingfest will be pivoting away from the Buffalo Festival out of an abundance of caution due to the COVID-19 pandemic and into a new national program that will continue fulfilling its mission of promoting the best wing restaurants nationwide and raising money for charity. This year, we will take the celebration of Buffalo’s signature culinary creation across the United States in the form of “America’s Greatest Chicken Wing Party,” which will take place in October, National Chicken Wing Month. Both the restaurant industry and charitable organizations have faced immense struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this pivot will continue to help them at a time when they need it the most.