WingFest 2023 By The Numbers
One vendor emerged victorious at WingFest 2023, but it took nearly 2 million chicken wings to crown a champion.
Each summer, Tussey Mountain hosts its weekly elimination-style chicken wing contest at the base of the mountain. Local restaurants bid to make their way to the WingFest final and prove their status as the most delicious wing in the valley. A winner is crowned once a week, and each winner moves on to the final round eight weeks later.
At the completion of WingFest’s 20th year, millions of wings were consumed en route to Juniper Village’s second consecutive victory. Tussey Mountain extended WingFest by one week this season due to its overall popularity and interest from restaurants and hosted 27 competitors in 2023.
Throughout the historic season, roughly 240,000 chicken wings were prepared weekly, equating to an average of 2,000 pounds of wings per week.
Therefore, over the course of the eight-week event, folks consumed about 1.92 million wings, totaling around 16,000 pounds.
An average of 2,500 people trekked to Tussey Mountain each week, and the event drew 20,000 wing-devourers to Boalsburg.
Based on chicken wing production quotas and attendance averages, the math says that each WingFest attendee consumed 96 wings each week. However, lest we forget the wing lovers that arrive with impressive containers for leftover chicken wing enjoyment.
Along with the wings drawing massive crowds to the mountain, 16 musicians and groups performed throughout the season. The musicians spanned over 2,807 miles from New York to State College to California, including headliners Velveeta, the Fooz Fighters, Nightrain, Who’s Bad, and more.
Speaking of massive crowds, roughly 400 chairlift rides up Tussey Mountain were taken per week, meaning around 800 folks took close to 3,200 trips to the mountain’s peak.
Pizza, pierogies, barbecue, and other delicacies graced WingFest, so a total of 31 unique vendors sold hearty bites and sweet treats to an average of 2,500 weekly attendees. Doan’s Bones Barbecue, Packer’s Concessions, Rosie’s Pierogies, Rita’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard, and Carl’s Crazy Kettlecorn each made weekly appearances at the Happy Valley event.
Twenty Penn State athletes made appearances, too, highlighted by a “Hot Ones” challenge with the Penn State wrestling and men’s basketball teams.
Though WingFest 2023 has come and gone, it was truly one unforgettable season.
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A 17-point third quarter powered Penn State to a 41-13 win over Northwestern.
Despite ultimately defeating the Wildcats in a blowout, the Nittany Lions were trapped in a shootout in the first half.
Penn State overcame a sluggish first half with 31 points and an interception in the second.