Students salivate over sticky fingers at Wingfest

GAP is sponsoring its annual Wingfest on Saturday from 3-6 p.m. in the Gator Quad. Similar to previous years, students are allowed to have six free Quaker Steak and Lube wings (with a student ID) and choose from six different sauces ranging from mild to spicy. And if six wings are not enough, students can purchase another three sets of six wings for six dollars apiece. Free T-shirts will also be given away.

Christina Moreschi, ’12, is GAP’s Vice President of Annual Events who plans and organizes major events like Wingfest. She explained that this year the organizing committee listened to student opinions and will be changing some aspects of the fest.

There will be two separate tables in order to distribute the wings. All six sauces will be available at both of the tables, which, Moreschi hopes, will decrease the wait time in the lines.

“I’ve also hired a DJ instead of a band because the bands were usually ignored as just background music anyway, so we figured a DJ was appropriate,” she said.

The free T-shirts will be sporting GAP’s theme for the event, “Bringing Saucy Back,” and even the wings are getting freshened up this year.

“We also want to cook the wings on-site this year instead of having to cook them off campus and bring them [here],” Moreschi explained.

Last year the event was held in the Campus Center lobby, but this year Wingfest is going outside.

“We hope to be able to have the event outside to give everyone more space and to make it more fun,” Moreschi said. “We are also going to be distributing T-shirts more effectively this year, rather than waiting until the end to hand them out.”

One factor that won’t change is the food. GAP has ordered 4,500 wings from Quaker Steak and Lube in Erie, Pa. Asian Sesame, Golden Garlic, LA Lickers, BBQ, Buckeye BBQ, and Ranch flavors will all be offered.

Wingfest is always a highly-anticipated event across campus. John O’Neil, ’11, has attended two Wingfests since he has been at Allegheny.

“I recommend the BBQ sauce; they’re finger-licking good,” said O’Neil. “I’d avoid the hot sauces because there’s not a lot to drink.”

Amber Wetzel, ’12, is a GAP member and a fan of the Lousiana Lickers.

“You can’t really go wrong with any of the sauces, but if you are trying to avoid bad breath, then stay away from the garlic wings,” said Wetzel. “Definitely avoid the Lousiana Lickers because those are all mine.”

GAP member Christine Wachnowsky, ’12, is helping serve the wings this year. She notes that Wingfest is different from the other events that GAP plans throughout the year because there is a lot of extra planning that goes into Wingfest, as opposed to bringing a musician or other performer.

“You have to get [Quaker Steak and Lube] to deliver the wings, set up a contract, worth within the budget and see what they’re willing to give you within that budget,” said Wachnowsky.

Parkhurst Dining Service will provide fried eggplant and zucchini along with carrots and celery sticks for vegetarian students.

An event like Wingfest also generates a fair amount of trash. Moreschi explained that because of complaints last year concerning a lack of trash cans, GAP plans to add more cans than usual for this year’s event.

“We usually have 1,000 plates and 3,000 napkins at the ready to support the event,” said Director of Parkhurst Dining Services Michael Zanie. “Our plates and napkins are compostable, so it is a better option than the ‘bad old days’ of Styrofoam.”

However, the wings come with their own packaging, not all of which is environmentally friendly.

“The wings come with wing boats which are not compostable, so I suppose that’s trash,” Moreschi said. “I’ll have a recycling bin for the bottles and cans so those won’t be wasted. I’m not sure about how the wings are transported but we do also use gloves to handle the wings so those will be thrown away.”

Wingfest attracts mostly the upperclassmen that are familiar with the event, but GAP encourages the freshmen to come as well.

“Oftentimes freshmen are unaware [Wingfest] exists, but some do still attend,” Moreschi said. “It’s also a busy time of the year so the turnout is less than a larger event like Homecoming.  Usually about 600-800 students attend Wingfest because of the appeal of free food and free t-shirts.”

“I think most students attend Wingfest to just hang out with friends and enjoy some wings and good music,” Wetzel said. “I can’t imagine why people would not want to attend Wingfest because the wings are delicious, especially compared to Brooks and McKinley’s.”

Even though there is a vegetarian option, many vegetarian students are not keen on attending the event.

“A name like Wingfest generally means they’re not serving food for vegetarians,” said Jordan Metcalfe, ’12, a vegetarian who will be staying home. “I didn’t even know there was a vegetarian option. If GAP wants to get to the vegetarian crowd, they should advertise it more.”

But the meat-loving students appreciate Wingfest to the fullest.

“I steal other people’s wing coupons, so I eat as much as I can steal,” O’Neil said.