Wingzilla is considered a signature event that happens annually, and it happens again on Saturday. There is a chicken wing and rib cook-off contest, a hot wing eating competition, an ATV poker run, other food vendors, a beer tent, horseshoes, corn hole, children's activities, live music and much more. (Photo by Jody Houle) (click for larger version)
September 05, 2018BERLIN – The annual WingZilla is taking place at the Service Credit Union Heritage park on Saturday, Sept. 8.
During the popular all-day event, hosted by the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce, multiple contestants cook up their best chicken wing recipes and compete in a cook- off. Attendees sample the wings and vote for the people's choice award and judges decide the champs for first, second and third place and awards and prizes are given. Another favorite activity is the messy hot wing eating competition.
"WingZilla is one of my favorite events," said Paula Kinney, Exexcutive Director of the Chamber. "It's got a small community feeling with the locals having fun competing against each other in the cook off (the bragging rights are priceless), but at the same time it has certainly grown and is becoming another signature event that attracts thousands of visitors to our area creating commerce for our local businesses."
Last year, there was more than 2,500 attendees.
There will be activities including ATV poker run, corn hole, horseshoes, beer sampling, and live music as well as lawn games and plenty of fun for the whole family. The Power Wheels Obstacle Course will be held in one of the logging camps. Food vendors will provide a variety to choose from.
The gate at the park opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m. It is always a free event for the public.
The event is sponsored by New Hampshire Distributors, Capone Iron, Brookfield and the Chamber.
The day kicks off with a Luau themed ATV poker run and scavenger hunt hosted by the Professional Firefighters Berlin IAFF Local 1088 and, for the fifth year in a row, all proceeds go to Operation Warm and the MDA. Cars, trucks and motorcycles can also compete. Registration is from 9-noon in the park. There will be prizes for the top three poker hands, a prize for best use of theme and a prize for the scavenger hunt and other random drawings.
New this year is "Ribzilla" – there will be a rib cook-off. There is still time for anyone who wants to compete – sign up at the Chamber office or call 752-6060.
For the Wingzilla cook-off, there are returning vendors including defending first and second place winner Richard Lam, People's Choice defending champ team Fire Ant, and Kid' Choice defending champ Boneyard Wings, along with some new competitors this year. Last year, there were 2,000 pounds of wings served in the park. Varieties include sweet, hot, smoked, fired and grilled wings.
Hot dogs and burgers will also be served, among other foods.
At 5 p.m., the wing cook-off and rib cook-off will be judged.
There will be a Killazilla hot wing eating contest at 5:30 p.m.
All-day activities include horseshoes and corn hole tournaments. There is a beer tent and kid's activities including face painting, Bobo T. Clown, a dunk tank and Power Wheels.
The Maine band One Hit Thunder with local Jason Leveille will conclude the evening with live music from 6 until 9 p.m.
"Signature events attract the visitors, but once they are here it's the beauty of the area, the variety of things to do and the people in our community is what makes them return over and over again," said Kinney. "Looking forward to another successful event and thank you to our supporters all year long."