Wing Dang Doodle Festival returns to Forest, Mississippi on Saturday, September 25th


It may be over a month away, but organizers of the Wing Dang Doodle Festival are plenty busy. After all, Forest, Mississippi's biggest event of the year boasts an impressive line-up of blues music, chicken wings and plenty of outdoor fun.

Scheduled for September 25, 2010, this year's 7th anniversary edition of the popular event -- held in Gaddis Park -- promises to be the biggest so far. It is a joint production of the Forest Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Forest.

"There have been a lot of phone calls and interest, and we are expecting our best crowds yet," said Tre Chambers, Chamber of Commerce president. "We are planning to host chicken wing cooking teams from all over the state, and this year's musical entertainment is truly world-class. Folks should plan for a beautiful day of food, music and more."

Music fans will enjoy Mississippi blues from two award-winning acts -- Homemade Jamz Blues Band of Tupelo and Eden Brent of Greenville. Both have been called the future of the Magnolia State's legendary brand of blues, and both are quite popular on the national and international music festival circuit.

"It's not unusual for Homemade Jamz to spend a week in Norway or for Eden Brent to travel to Canada and beyond," according to Roger Stolle, a blues promoter in Clarksdale, Mississippi. "We are fortunate to have a younger crop of blues artists in Mississippi who are able to get out there and promote our state's rich musical heritage. It's fantastic that the Wing Dang Doodle Festival recognizes such talent and has both acts coming to perform."

Another popular aspect of the Wing Dang Doodle Festival involves chicken wings.

"It's 'in the name,' so our attendees and participants always look forward to having some fun with chicken wings," explained Chamber of Commerce executive director Mandi Arinder. "We host many talented cooking teams that sometimes dress up for the part. We also have some local 'eating experts' who engage in a chicken wing eating competition. It's a blast. Lots of fun.."

And the cooking contest can be profitable. The top prize for the best chicken wing is $1,000.

In addition to good blues music and tasty chicken wings, the Wing Dang Doodle Festival promises a delicious selection of other activities with broad appeal.

"We have something for everyone -- a 5K Run, a Fun Run, a Motorcycle Run, kids' stuff and more," said Arinder. "Our festival has been identified as one of the Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 Events for September 2010. We think that says a lot. One of the great things about our event is that it has both a local and a tourist following."

Currently, the Wing Dang Doodle Festival is still accepting applications from both cooking teams and potential vendors. Interested parties should contact the Chamber of Commerce immediately at 601-469-4332 to secure their spot at this year's event.

The event is held at Gaddis Park -- an updated facility that includes lighted tennis courts, a tennis pavilion, ball fields, a walking trail, a playground, basketball courts, picnic tables, grills and an open air pavilion. According to Chambers, it makes the perfect location for a growing event.

"We are blessed to have such a unique location to hold the Wing Dang Doodle," he said. "Between our many festival activities and the park's own multipurpose set-up, locals and visitors alike are sure to have a busy, fun-filled day. Gaddis Park also allows us to continually expand our event which really helps with planning."

The Wing Dang Doodle Festival began seven years ago as an offshoot of the now defunct Mississippi Broiler Festival which began in the 1950s before sliding into obscurity and eventually being revived in the 1980s. In 2003, the Forest Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Forest resurrected the event and (inspired by the foundation of the Mississippi Blues Commission) added a blues element to the festivities. The result is today's successful and ever-growing Wing Dang Doodle Festival.

"We're very pleased to present such a family and tourist-friendly event with an interesting history and strong ties to our community," explained Arinder. "We're looking forward to our biggest and best edition yet."

This year's festival emcees will be Sid and Leilani Salter. Both are past chamber presidents and current Mississippi journalists.

The Wing Dang Doodle Festival kicks off at 10am on Saturday, September 25th. For more information about the festival, go to on the web, call 601-469-4332, or drop by the Forest Area Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about this year's musical acts, go to:

Forest Chamber of Commerce
Mandi Arinder (executive director),
Gay Barnes (publicity chairperson),
Tre Chambers (chamber president),

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