Margaret and Michael Riley drove to Carson City Friday afternoon from Reno just to enjoy the ambiance of the Carson Station's Wing Off, an inaugural chicken wing cookoff.
"We heard about it ... and we like wings, so we decided to come," said Margaret Riley. "This wing cookoff is a little better than the ones in Reno or Sparks because we've always liked Carson. It's just more family-oriented, and it's very, very affordable."
The event, presented by the Great International Chicken Wing Society and self-proclaimed "Chicken Wing King" Willie Davison of Sparks, continues from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday in the Best Western Carson Station Hotel Casino parking lot, 900 S. Carson St.
Admission is free, and prices for sampler plates start at $3 for four wings, $5-7 for 12 wings or $7-9 for a plate of 18.
Most entrants prepare a sweet sauce for the competition, but if someone requests hot wings, special batches will be prepared to order, Davison said.
One of the cooks, Tom Palfrey from Reno, was serving up wings Friday from his booth, Redneck Wings.
"We win trophies at wing cookoffs - a fourth place this year and a fifth last year," Palfrey said. "We use a smokey-sweet barbecue sauce and we finish it off on the barbecue," he said. "I like participating in these events because I like meeting people. The community comes out and you get to see all the families. I enjoy the vendors, being outdoors and the live music."
Carson City BBQ owners Phil Hyatt and Duane Felker also were keeping busy Friday.
"We had a real nice little lunch - we went through about 50 orders," Hyatt said. "Duane has been working on our sauce for 15 years, and it's perfect. It's unbelievable."
Attendees can expect to enjoy live music and music from a deejay while sampling chicken wings and shopping for arts and crafts, clothing and jewelry among the vendors. A Kid Zone will provide youngsters with a place to play with offerings such as bounce houses, rides and face painting.
Restaurants and bars will compete to see whose chicken wings are the best, with attendees and official tasters - known as Chicken Hawks - helping to choose the winners.
Trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place at 2 p.m. Sunday, and there also will be a winner in the People's Choice category.
Randy Riley, from Peoria, Ariz., visiting his brother Michael, described the five varieties of wings they sampled as "from perfect to awesome."
The newly remodeled Carson Station will offer cash giveaways and promotions throughout the event.