Highland News Leader

Highland to have its first-ever hot wing festival, contests in October

Highland News Leader

The Highland News Leader serves readers in Highland.
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The Highland News Leader serves readers in Highland.

Highland is looking to lure in wing lovers to its downtown this October with a new fall festival.

Flügel Fest, which translates in “German to Wing Fest,” is from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, and will be the first-ever city hosted festival in Highland.

The idea came from Highland resident Bob Wurth, who has been holding a wing competition between his friends for years. Worth suggested the city take up the competition to Mayor Joe Michaelis.

The festival will feature booths stocked with different styles of wings from service organizations like Highland’s Jaycees and Optimists.

Amateurs, like Worth and his group of friends, have also been invited to compete for best wing competitions.

Judging will be up to the festival’s attendees and trophies will be awarded to the winners of an amateur and professional competition.

Highland Economic and Business Recruitment Coordinator Mallord Hubbard, who has had a major hand in planning the event, said the wing competitions will be a good way to foster healthy rivalries between the city’s many organizations.

He added that other activities like a wing-eating competition, a pumpkin patch and a bags competition will be offered at the festival, as well as live music from local bands.

Hubbard and city Stephanie Christian, a city intern, have headed planning the event, with the help of Parks and Recreation Director Mark Rosen.

Christian said the hope is Flügel Fest becomes a tradition in Highland. She said it’s an event that will help foster a feeling of community in Highland, while also attracting visitors.

“It’s the only and first event that’s actually hosted by the city,” All the proceeds go back to the city, so it’s for the city, by the city. We hope it becomes a tradition.”

The event proceeds will go to updating and beautifying Highland’s downtown city square. Rosen said the city hopes to make some repairs on the park’s fountain and to hang more baskets from the light posts throughout the park.

Furthermore, Rosen said the fountain will be a main focus of proceeds. He said the fountain needs maintenance, even though it was renovated only 12 years ago.

Mallord said there’s still plenty of planning left and noted more information about the festival will be released as it gets closer. He said if the festival goes well, the city will add more next year.

“We want to start small and then expand on what we learn from this year,” Rosen said. “Next year we hope to add more.”

Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.

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