Big Kahuna Wings Festival expected to draw thousands

The Farragut community has an opportunity to enjoy chicken wings, watch cooking competitions and listen to live music during the Fourth Annual Big Kahuna Wing Festival.

Started by Matt Beeler, owner of Big Kahuna Wings Bar and Grill in Farragut, the event, presented by U.S. Foods, is slated to take place from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at World’s Fair Park in downtown Knox-ville.

“People who come to the festival get to try wings from all of the 40 teams,” Beeler said. “There also will be live music all day.”

Attendees also can sign up and compete in the wings-eating contests and bid in a silent auction while children play in the kid’s corner.

The festival is expected to draw more than 8,000 attendees this year, and more than 40 award-winning teams from across the South will compete for Big Kahuna of Wings and Tennessee State Champion titles, Beeler said.

Proceeds from the festival will benefit The Empty Stocking Fund, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee and The Butterfly Fund while the silent auction will benefit Big Heads Big Hearts Foundation.

“I’ve been extremely grateful for the support of the festival,” Beeler said.

The event will offer more than 10,000 pounds of wings, wing-eating and wing-cooking competitions, a silent auction and live performances by Uncle Funky & Zero Cash, Brian Clay, Crawl-space and special guests, Har-monica Howl and Drivin N’ Cryin.

General admission tickets paid in advance are $10 each and will be available through Friday, June 10. Tickets can be purchased at, at Big Kahuna Wings Bar & Grill or any participating Food City. Children ages 8 and younger will be admitted free. Tickets at the door are $15.

General admission allows pa-trons to sample wings from ev-ery team while VIP tickets, available for $150, include early entry to the festival, unlimited access to all wing vendors, ex-clusive access to the expanded VIP area beside the performance stage, complimentary food from Calhouns and steaks from Certified Angus Beef, unlimited beverages — including alcohol and craft beer garden — and private bathrooms.

Beeler said he started the festival to give back to the community and call attention to BKW Seasonings Company.

“We have been able to raise $90,000 [for the charitable org-anizations] in the first three years,” he said. “I always try to give back to the community.”

The idea for the festival came from a trip to Memphis.

“I went to a wing festival in Memphis and I wondered why Knoxville didn’t have a wing festival since there are a lot of people in the Knoxville area who loved wings,” he said.