COLUMBIA — The annual Easter Seals Wing Ding was back as Columbia restaurants flaunted their finest chicken wings to compete for trophies and bragging rights.
This year marked the 20th anniversary of the event, so the competition was moved to the Columbia Executive Center at the Holiday Inn Select - a larger location than the usual tent or small community center. With an all-you-can-eat chicken wing buffet from many restaurants in town for $15, the event drew hundreds Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. There was also a karaoke competition, a silent auction and a raffle.
A computer station was set up so wing lovers could write a review for the Mid-Missouri Dining Guide online right at the Wing Ding.
Some professional barbecue tasters and Easter Seals board members were among those who judged the competition as Columbia restaurants like T.G.I. Friday's, Truman's Bar & Grill and Outback Steakhouse served up their best chicken wings.
Five trophies went out for Tastiest Wings, Best Barbecue-Style Wings, Best Seasoned Wings, Meatiest Wings and, of course, the People's Choice Award. Attendees could pay $1 per vote to choose their favorite for the People's Choice Award.
Proceeds from the evening will go to the Easter Seals Child Development Center. Easter Seals provides disabilities services and puts on the Wing Ding every year. Easter Seals owns and operates the Child Development Center, which provides services for children with disabilities as well as before and after school care and summer day camps. The event usually takes in about $10,000 to $12,000, said Craig Byrd, president and CEO of Easter Seals Missouri.