Wing Dang Doodle Festival to celebrate 10th year
by CHRIS ALLEN BAKER | The Scott County Times
FOREST — The annual festival that celebrates music and poultry in the midst of a variety of fun activities will reach an historic point in its current incarnation when the Wing Dang Doodle cranks up for its 10th year.
The festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 28, in Gaddis Park in Forest.
“This is a milestone for the festival. We are expecting a great turnout. People have been calling in about it since the beginning of July,” said Allyce Lott, executive director of the Forest Area Chamber of Commerce which sponsors the event.
“The festival has grown each year and we are looking at bringing in some new features. Those features are still in the developing stages right now,” Lott said.
Cooking teams, runners and all persons in between gather in Forest for the event, formerly known as the Broiler Festival. There is no admission charge for the festival.
Chamber President Tom Miles said plans include making this year’s festival the best ever.
“We are very excited about the Wing Dang Doodle Festival this year. This marks our 10 year anniversary of the festival highlighting the two things that everyone knows Scott County for — chicken and good blues music. Scott County is known as the chicken capital of world,” Miles said.
The festival is a little less than two months away and the Chamber and member businesses and individual groups are planning to participate in the activities.
While more detailed plans are still in the development stages, Lott said last week that many of the features of past festivals will return this year.
This year’s headline entertainment will be Dr. Zarr and the Amazing Funk Monster which has performed in Forest at other venues.
On the Internet, the web site www.wingdangdoodlefestival.com was established last year and will make information available and those interested in registering for some of the activities.
As in the past four years, the festival will get started with the Wing Dang Dash 5K Run/Walk and kids’ ½ mile fun run which was added to the festival in 2008 and has seen a tremendous turnout each year.
The Dash is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. and the Fun Run at 9 a.m. for the children. The course used last year will be used again including a trek along Airport Road to Fountain Road, to Highway 35 and back to Gaddis Park.
Awards for winners will be distributed soon after the race is completed. Persons interested in participating in the Dash may sign up now. Registration forms were mailed to those who participated in the past.
Early bird registrations at the rate of $20 will be accepted until September 4. Late registration after that date will be a $25 fee and a t-shirt is not guaranteed on race day.
Along the way in the morning, arts and crafts vendors are expected to display their merchandise. Vendors can check the festival online site or call the Forest Area Chamber of Commerce about setting up a booth at the festival. The deadline for applications is September 18.
One of the signature events of the festival is the chicken wing cooking contest. Participation has regularly included a range from the low to mid-30s in terms of the number of teams. A $1,000 grand prize will be awarded to the winning team and awards are expected to be announced at approximately 3 p.m. that day. The second place winning team will receive $750, and $500 to third place, and $250 for fourth place and fifth place will receive $100.
The most spirited booth award will include a $250 prize.
The deadline to enter a cooking team is September 11. An information packet will be sent to each team after this date.
Some of the entertainment is also expected to include line dancing, an antique vehicle show, cheerleaders and other activities.
For more information about the festival, visit the above noted Internet site or call the Forest Area Chamber of Commerce at (601) 469-4332.
Miles said activities will include traditional fun events like the Chicken Wing Contest, Rooster Crowing Contest and the Magnolia Hal Chicken & Roosters.
“We also plan to take a moment to remember one of Scott County’s blues legend ‘T-Model Ford’ who passed away just a few weeks ago. T-Model was blues player who was known world wide for his blues music and he performed a few years ago at The Wing Dang Doodle.” Miles said.
“This plans to be a great day and family fun for all and we hope all will come out and have a Wing Dang Doodle of a good time with us,” Miles said.
Mayor Nancy N. Chambers said the festival has become a major event for Forest and Scott County with plenty of history and tradition.
“The Wing Dang Doodle is an opportunity for the community to get together and enjoy a day of fun, fellowship and appreciation of things that are unique to our community as well as an opportunity for visitors to become acquainted with the character of Forest,” Chambers said.
“Because of the hard work of the Chamber board members, the festival has grown and improved every year and certainly has the promise of being known and appreciated statewide. It is important that every community have something that is uniquely its own and the Wing Dang Doodle certainly belongs to Forest.”
For decades, area residents celebrated the traditional Broiler Festival which in 2004 was revamped and updated with a name change to its current identity.
The Chamber took the name from a Blues song, “Wang Dang Doodle,” written by Willie Dixon and sung by Koko Taylor. The “Wang” was changed to “Wing” to showcase the prominence of the local poultry industry.