Dining With Denise Neil

Wingapalooza offers many of Wichita’s best chicken wings in one place for one price

Intrust Bank Arena is preparing for a crowd of 2,000 for its fourth annual Wingapalooza event on Saturday.
Intrust Bank Arena is preparing for a crowd of 2,000 for its fourth annual Wingapalooza event on Saturday. Intrust Bank Arena

You could spend your weekends driving to all of Wichita’s chicken restaurants (and that list gets longer all the time) to determine which one serves the best chicken wings.

Or you could drop $20 and try several of them in one afternoon, in one place.

On Saturday, Intrust Bank Arena’s popular Wingapalooza returns for its fourth annual installment and will allow attendees to sample chicken wings from 20 different local restaurants. The event happens from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the floor of Intrust Bank Arena.

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 the day of the event.

But don’t wait until the day of the event, advises Christine Pileckas, the arena’s director of sales and marketing. Wingapalooza has sold out almost every year, and there’s a chance tickets will be gone by the time doors open on Saturday.

A few new vendors have signed on since last year, including Chick N Max and Chisholm’s American Beef & Ale House. Several Wichita favorites also will be there, including Wings & Things (who won the judges’ choice trophy last year), River City Brewing Co., Rib Crib, Slim Chickens, Wingstop, The Keg Sports Bar and Grill, BJ’s, Stroud’s and Twin Peaks.

Pileckas said the arena purposely caps the attendance at 2,000 so that the floor doesn’t get crowded and lines for wings don’t get too long.

Another feature the arena added this year is a $30 VIP ticket, which will allow people willing to pay a bit more the chance to get in 15 minutes earlier to avoid any lines. Those people also get a free drink ticket. VIP tickets sold out quickly for this year, so it’ll be a feature the arena offers next year, too, Pileckas said.

Attendees, who will be asked to vote for their favorite wing, also can buy beer from a craft beer garden and listen to a live DJ spin tunes. “Veggie stations” also will be set up so that people can cool and cleanse their palates with celery and carrots and blue cheese and Ranch dressing.

At noon, attendees can watch a wing-eating contest that pits first responders against each other for bragging rights and a trophy.

WINGAPALOOZA

What: An all-you-can-eat chicken wing event

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Intrust Bank Arena, 500 E. Waterman

How much: $20 in advance, $25 day of the event

Tickets: Available at www.selectaseat.com, by calling 316-755-7328 and at the Select-a-Seat Box office at Intrust Bank Arena

Information: www.intrustbankarena.com/wingapalooza

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