Second annual Hot Wings and Hot Rods devours C-U

By Jenny Horne

After the cars left the building and the wings were devoured, Jeff Grant hopes Hot Wings and Hot Rods will continue for years to come.

“We really spiced up the Buffalo Wild Wings hot-wing eating contest,” said the CEO and owner of the Fluid Event Center.

The second-annual Hot Wings and Hot Rods took place at the Fluid Event Center on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event featured over 150 “hot rods,” as well as multiple wing-eating and wing-cooking contests.

With an open space, the venue allowed viewers and car owners to walk around, peruse and sightsee as they pleased. The event was free of charge, so the flow of people was constant throughout the entire day.

The viewers, several donning Harley-Davidson gear, were mostly locals from the Champaign-Urbana area. Sounds of chatter filled the room.

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For Champaign local Tom Linne, the hot wings were his favorite part.

“I came to this thing last year, and they’ve really amped up the food since I was here last,” Linne said. “I love the variety of wings and how spicy they are. I don’t think my wife can handle the heat.”

The Fluid Event Center travelled back in time as it displayed a multitude of cars, ranging from Mustangs and Fords to Cadillacs. The owners of the vehicles stood proud with their cars.

At the end of the day, trophies were distributed to the cars deemed as the best of the. The winners were announced, applauded, and given a variety of trophies in conclusion of the day’s events.

But one attendee has a goal for the third-annual event.

Champaign local Steven Youlsad noticed that few University of Illinois students were in attendance. He said he would like to see more students coming into the event, whether they view the cars or eat more wings.

“I think it’s mostly middle-aged or older people from around town,” Yousald said. “But it’s a fun thing for students to do, too.”

Youlsad remarked that any college kid, particularly young men, would love looking at cars while participating in a few hot wing eating contests.

“What kid wouldn’t like grabbing a few hot wings and looking at some old vintage cars?” Youlsad asked.

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