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Wingapalooza brings out those who wanted their senses tested by pungent goods

Posted at 6:59 PM, Jul 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-21 02:16:52-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Earlier today, hungry fans flocked to the American Bank Center for the third annual Wingapalooza to enjoy all-you-can-eat wings.

Each year, Wingapalooza has gotten bigger and better. And this year, the event was moved from the American Bank Center's arena to the exhibit hall for even more space.

“Since I walked in the building, I could smell it and i was like ‘ah, I'm in heaven,’” attendee Jon Bell said. “Let’s go.”

People came with an appetite and vendors came with a lot of wings.

“We probably did about, maybe 4,000 wings, something like that, so it's good,” said Rick Alaniz of Buffalo Wings Co.

Corpus Christi restaurants battled for different titles like "Wing Master" and "Lord of the Wings" which were voted on by attendees and judges.

There were 13 vendors this year serving us their wings. From mild, to really, really spicy.

“Did you see me earlier? It was like completely red,” attendee Eddie Martinez said. “I had tears and my lips were completely on fire.”

Others described their munching in terms of sensory-torching experiences.

“From Good n' Crisp had my lips burning, my finger tips sweating,” Bell said. “It was hot. It was hot.”

The American Bank Center was happy to bring this food festival back for its third year.

"We've been challenged with the task of bringing even more new and creative and innovative ideas to the American Bank Center,” said Necie Brown, the ABC’s booking and special events development manager. “To really just get the community down here. Like wings. Who doesn't like wings? I mean this is a great family-friendly event.”

Martinez and his family had their own system for their wing tasting.

"We've been getting samples of wings from all these different locations bringing them to the table and then we kinda pick and choose which ones we wanna try out,” he said. “And those that are the favorites we kinda let everybody know.”

It helped Martinez provide some wing wisdom after his sampling.

“It wouldn't be a wing festival if you couldn't try one hot one," he said.

So we asked around to try and find the hottest wing and …

“That’s pretty hot.”