The hottest contest in Dewey Beach will be back on the deck of The Starboard at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 16. It's time again for the annual Wings To Go Suicide Wing Eating Contest, a 28-year tradition. Participants will line up to shove their faces full of the spiciest wings they have ever encountered, and one will reign victorious in the gut-busting contest of the summer.
Bob Forwood, owner of Wings To Go in Dewey Beach, loves the partnership he's built with the Starboard for this event. "It's about having a good time," he said. But don't think he will be outside shoving suicide wings into his gob. When questioned about his own participation he asks, "Do I look stupid?!" Laughing, he explains that the wings are so hot that people rarely see the winner outside their house for a couple of days following the contest.
To kick things off, the resident Dewey Beach Elvis will sing the national anthem along with spectators. The contest begins with each contestant trying to down an initial 40 wings. Forwood says that's where most people will drop out. "We generally get about 35 people who join the contest. After the first 40 wings, people tap out because they want to be able to say 'I participated.'" After that, the contest really heats up.
The record for suicide wing eating is an impressive 141 wings, which is quite a lot, never mind the heat of the suicide sauce. All in all, Wings To Go will have 2,500 wings ready for the contest that day, and hand out hefty prizes as well as bragging rights.
First prize is $500. There is also a second prize, and a first-place prize for the woman who eats the most. Forwood admits there has been a woman who won the overall title in recent years.
Dickie Heidenberger will be on hand as master of ceremonies, and as always, he will bring his fresh sense of style along. How many wings will the winner down this year? It's anyone's guess, but everyone will want to be there to witness wing decadence at its best.