Annual Chicken Wing Cook-Off Unfazed by Smoke

RENO, Nev. -- All this smoke hasn't stopped wing enthusiasts. The 12th Annual Great International Chicken Wing Society Cook-Off is back and as they've shown, some things are worth braving the smoke.

After almost a week of dealing with the smoke, many getting used to it and are finding any excuse to go outside.

"We can't just sit around in the house and i think it'd be pointless without a filter to sit around in the house anyway," said one local man.

"Yesterday was worse than today so we figured out that we should go out and just enjoy the day," a Sparks resident said.

'It's not hurting me too bad and the chicken's really good so I can smell that all day," a nine-year-old said.

The chicken wing cook-off has been successful for the past 11 years and the founder says he isn't going let the smoke interfere with the fun.

"All I smell is wing sauce," Willie 'Chicken Wing King' Davison says he moved the cook off from the Silver Legacy to a small venue at the Atlantis, but has added three more cooks to the competition--a bigger cook-off in a more condensed space.

The smoke seems to be clearing out, unlike the guests. Davison says he hopes to break a record in sales this year.

"Last year was about 20,000 pounds {of wings} and we're hoping to break the record this year," he said. "People still come out, it's not like they're not coming."

The Chicken Wing says he's expecting 35,000 to 40,000 people this year, that's 10,000 fewer people than last year, but says it's because of the venue change and not because of the smoke.

The 12th Annual International Chicken Wing Society Cook-Off will go until tomorrow, Sunday, Aug. 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.


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