City of Mesa

Hardboiled and dyed, plastic and filled with coins, or chocolate and oozing white and yellow fondant, eggs are a hot commodity this time of year.

But seeing as how we’re too old for Easter baskets and egg hunts, it’s another part of the chicken we’re interested in: wings.

At least seven restaurants will offer up their best chicken wing recipes March 30 at Wingstock, a festival with live music, beer and thousands of ooey, gooey little chicken arms slathered in finger-licking sauces and rubs. Eateries expected to cook for the event include Native New Yorker, The Hungry Monk, Cogburn’s Big Wings, Wingstop, Diamond’s Sports Grille, ATL Wings Your Way and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Now in its third year, the Mesa festival pits restaurants against one another for the title of King of Wings, says organizer Dyan Dwyer Seaburg. The title is awarded based on attendees’ votes.

There’s also a hottest wing contest decided by Mesa firefighters, and diners can enter a timed contest to see who can eat the most wings. Open to just 12 diners vying for a cash prize, Seaburg says she expects spots to go fast. To enter, head to the wing coupon windows as soon as gates open. The cost to enter is $25.

Bottled water, soda, mixed drinks and beer will be available at concession stands. Kid-friendly foods like hot dogs and popcorn will also be for sale.

Children will find an area just for them with two bounce houses, a face painter, a people-sized ball like the kind pet rodents use for exercise, and a portable, indoor paintball arena. Small fees will apply for the hamster ball and paintball activities.

There’s also a 10:30 a.m. egg hunt with festival mascot HENdrix — a person in a white rooster costume — and the Easter bunny, ensuring the kids still get to enjoy chickens’ most enduring contribution to Easter.

DETAILS >> 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 30. Mesa Amphitheatre, 263 N. Center St. Admission tickets are $5 if purchased in advance, or $7 at the door. Admission is free for children 10 and younger when accompanied by a paying adult. Wing coupons, available at the event, are $3 for four or $10 for 14. Each coupon is good for one wing. (480) 644-2171 or

Contact writer: (480) 898-6818 or

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