Downtown Ambridge will be the local headquarters for wings on Sunday when the Ambridge Eagles host the second annual Wing Cook-Off.
The Ambridge Eagles 2014 Wing Cook-Off takes off from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3 on Fourth Street in Ambridge.
“There are some great tasting wings this year,” said Dee Peake, an Eagles trustee who is co-chairing the event with Allie Mooney. “There is tropical passion and there’s one called maple bacon barbecue. We have some great flavors this year.”
Participating businesses are Hollywood Café, Talerico's, Firehouse Lounge, Little Athens, Big Creek BBQ, Robert’s Roadside Inn in Bridgewater and Rooks, whose business was recently destroyed by a devastating fire.
“They’re very excited to be there and we’re happy to have them,” Peake said.
They'll all be competing to win "People's Choice." Businesses and individuals will also compete in separate divisions to win "Best Hot Wing" and "Best Other."
Participating individuals are Chas Mooney and Paul Shipeck, the McCall brothers, Matt Morrow and Ed Colon.
Returning champions Talerico's won "best hot wings" last year and Firehouse Lounge won "best other" with their fiesta ranch wings. Individual competitor, Chas Mooney and Paul Shipeck, swept the amateur division in both categories.
For a Good Cause
Each business donates $200 to enter the competition. That money and all profits made from the event will be donated to either the American Diabetes Association or the Diabetes Research Center, one of the Fraternal Order of Eagles’ largest fundraising ventures.
“The Eagles are about people helping people,” Peake said.
Peake and Mooney came up with the idea to have the wing cook off after they organized a chili tasting contest with Mooney’s husband, Chas, and began thinking about the potential for wings.
“We have a ton of bars in this town that think they have the greatest wings. From Talerico's to Firehouse – everyone thinks their wings are the best.”
Using the “people helping people” philosophy of the Eagles, they reached out to members for help with donations, sponsorships, judging and other tasks.
The first event exceeded expectations and was such a success that they ran out of wings.
“We’ve improved on it,” Peake said.
A Community Affair
This year, there are double the competitors and more participants. The panel of five guest judges include State Rep. Rob Matzie, also a sponsor, and Tom Pappas, owner of Maple Restaurant, both of whom are Eagles members. Other judges are Chef Justin Miller, Osman Awad of the Allegheny Country Club, and Pete Countouris of Masonic Village, who joined the Eagles last year after participating as a judge.
A celebrity Dunk Tank will feature many locally-known names who have volunteered as well, including Mixed Martial Arts fighter Chris Dempsey.
Peake said the committee has worked hard and the community has pitched in efforts to help make the event a success.
“From the dunk tank to involving the track team, the whole theme is just people helping people, working together, raising money and capitalizing on any asset you have,” Peake said. "Let's all work together to pull this off."
If You're Going
When: 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3
Where: Fourth Street between Park Road and Maplewood Avenue.
Cost: Attendees have to purchase tickets for wings, beverages and other items. Tickets are worth $1 each and run $10 for 10 tickets, $20 for 20 tickets or $40 for 50 tickets.
Every item requires a set amount of tickets. For example, one ticket buys two wings, meaning wings are 50 cents each. Tickets can also be used to buy beer, munchies like French fries, popcorn and snow cones, or to play games like the celebrity Dunk Tank.
Tickets for the 50/50 and the basket raffle will be sold separately.
Fun Walk: For $5, attendants can kick off the event by participating in a "Fun Walk" down Merchant Street, stopping at eight locations along the route back to the Eagles on Fourth Street.
At each poker lot, you can draw a card and if you have the best poker hand, you can win gift certificates and other goodies from local businesses in town.
Sign ups for the walk are from 2-2:30 p.m. at the gazebo in PJ Caul Park on Merchant Street. A shuttle to the gazebo will be available until 2:30.
Live Musical Entertainment:
Angel Blue, 2:15 - 3:45 pmSky Deep, 4:15 - 5:45 pm
Dunk Tank Participants:
2:15 Rob Matzie, State Representative and Sponsor
2:30 Donald Larrick, Ambridge Fireman
2:45 John McRory, past Eagle Officer
3:00 Doug Ford, Santa
3:15 Candy Hughes, Eagle Member
4:15 Marjorie Flack, Eagles Bartender'
4:30 Alan Freed, Ambridge Connection
4:45 Bill Wanto, Leet Township Police Chief
5:00 Kevin Flannery, Sewickley Borough Manager
5:15 Pete Pnoinsky, Mayor
5:30 Chris Dempsey, UFC Fighter