Muhammad Ali once said, “The man who has no imagination has no wings!” That’s not the case for the organizer and founder of the Big Kahuna Wing Festival. The event, which began in 2013, was the idea of Matt Beeler; a graduate of the Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management program. After participating in a local wing festival in Memphis, Beeler decided to establish a wing festival in Knoxville to raise money for local charities. Over the last five years, over 32,000 people have participated; over 44,000 lbs. of wings were served by over 160 participating teams and over $330,000 in charitable contributions were raised.
The Big Kahuna Wing Festival is an annual event held in Knoxville. This year’s event was the 6th annual and included of course, wings. In addition guests could participate in wing eating, wing cooking, bobbing for wings competitions, live music, a kids corner, silent auction and fun for the entire family. Recognized as one of the best culinary events in the region, the event draws crowds of 8,000 or more each year.
Enjoy this video from WVLT as Beeler discusses how he will share the proceeds with the UT Culinary Institute in the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences and other organizations in Knoxville.