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750,000 (fried) reasons to go; Wing festival turns 10 this weekend, and there's plenty to see -- and eat

Take 17,500 gallons of cooking oil, 50 tons of chicken wings and a lot of garlic, Cajun seasonings, Caribbean spices and Frank's Hot Sauce, for starters.

And what do you have?

The ingredients for what organizers hope will be the biggest Buffalo wing-eating event ever.

Hungry, diehard wing lovers should be getting ready to feast at the 10th National Buffalo Wing Festival, which will be held from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday in Coca-Cola Field downtown.

Founder Drew Cerza ordered enough raw chicken to yield 750,000 wings, to be served up in different varieties and for different tastes.

More than 100 different sauces will heat up the event, including garlic Parmesan, teriyaki and sweet Hawaiian with pieces of pineapple.

Alliger's House of Wings in Sayre, Pa., will be presenting spicy ranch, a new flavor.

"They're phenomenal. We make our own ranch dressing," said manager Jennifer Wilson, whose parents own the restaurant.

In 2009, Alliger's won the Rookie of the Year competition, Wilson said.

"We're anticipating the biggest festival year ever. Wings have become America's No. 1 appetizer," said Cerza as 2 1/2 tractor-trailer loads rolled into Coca-Cola Field on Tuesday with the raw wings.

"Last year, it was 50 degrees both days with 50-mph wind gusts, and we had 74,000 people come out," he said.

That included people from all 50 states and 36 countries.

New entertainment this year includes Adam "Duff" Goldman, star of the Food Network's "Ace of Cakes," who will perform with his band, Sand Ox.

Also, Goldman will judge a birthday cake competition -- new this year -- to celebrate the festival's 10th anniversary.

Joey Chestnut, who is ranked as the No. 1 competitive eater in the world by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, will participate in the Chicken Wing Eating Championship at 4 p.m. Sunday. Sonya Thomas, the reigning champion of the local event, will defend her title against Chestnut and other competitive eaters.

Admission this weekend is $5. Children under 8 are admitted free.

The festival benefits the Alzheimer's Association of Western New York, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Meals on Wheels of Western New York.

For event listings, hours and other information, visit buffalowing.com.

email: dswilliams@buffnews.com