No winging it — Denver celebrities dig in

By on September 19, 2018
John Clair of the Schoeneck Lions Club cleans up after eating 40 wings to win the contest for the second year in a row.

John Clair of the Schoeneck Lions Club cleans up after eating 40 wings to win the contest for the second year in a row.

The annual Celebrity Hot Wing Contest went down in messy glory at the Denver Fair on Sept. 15.

John Clair, “Houdwingi”, defended his title by making one wing after another disappear.

Clair was asked how he trains for his unique gift and if he was born without taste buds or if they fail to detect heat.

“I didn’t eat anything at all today, so I was really hungry,” said Clair.

The newly crowned fair queen, Kathryn Voler, had the lowest wing count in the end — nine.

“I had grilled cheese, French fries, a lot of tootsie rolls, and lemonade today,” said Voler.

Mayor Rod Redcay’s goal every year is to beat the queen, which he did, but there was a bump underneath the top of his shirt which may have been a secret fanny pack. Redcay “put away” 19.

A few celebrities from years’ past were in the audience. They never won, but it was obvious they were living their lives through their protégés.

Scout Master at Schoeneck Boy Scout Troop 115, Sheldon Brubaker, had assistant scout leader, Mitchell Martin, take his spot the last two years.

It’s hard to say who the favorite was from the audience’s reactions.

A half-dozen boys from Crossfire Youth Ministries cheered Caleb Horning.

The relatively unknown this year, Nate Martin, from Harvest Fellowship, was throwing down but the wing replenishers were slow. It’s argued if he could have downed more than 33 wings, which gave him third place.

Korber said Martin is a single father and “enjoys long walks on the beach.”

The owner of sponsor Wild Wings, Adam Conahan, decided to participate in the throw down this year. Competitors were worried about him, so they put him at the end of the table, so his plate would likely tip off.

“I can’t remember the last time I ate wings,” said Conahan. “I sell them but don’t eat them.”

Conahan’s count was 22 wings.

The controversy of the contest comes from Henry Schein. The company has a trial wing contest and the winner of this goes on to the Denver Fair.

John Shuman counted in at 36 wings which won him second place. Authorities will discuss whether he will be disqualified because he was not a novice.

Michele Walter Fry is a correspondent for the Ephrata Review.

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