LANSING, MI — There are two festivals in mid-Michigan this weekend you just have to check out. One is finger-licking good and the other will get a little spooky, but it's a great way to kick off the fall season.
Michigan Chicken Wing Festival
Attention all chicken wing connoisseurs. On Saturday and Sunday, the Michigan Chicken Wing Festival will be taking over Adado Riverfront Park in Lansing. The festival was started in 2015 as a Fundraiser for the non-profit Against All Odds which assists underserved communities in Ingham County.
"This year we have 21 different flavors. Everything from blueberry, BBQ, peach, mangoes, strawberry, hot, pineapple," said Shirley Carter-Powell, founder and coordinator of the annual event. "Then of course we have the parmesan and the garlic parmesan, dry rub wings, and we have the grill wings. We have deep-fried and you know we'll have other foods out here as well as ribs and rib tips."
Finger Lickin' Chicken & Fish will be among the plethora of food vendors in the park.
"I guarantee you that we got the best chicken in town," said owner Alfonzo Bradley.
Bradley says the family-owned business has been a part of the festival since it started.
"My favorite part of the festival is just the whole festival honestly. I'll get to see a lot of people that I haven't seen. I'll be able to get new customers that get to try my chicken that has never tried it before," Bradley said.
Not only will you be able to try some delicious wings there will also be a wing eating contest, live entertainment, community service, sweet treats, and arts and crafts. Carter-Powell says they will also have a kid zone with activities for children.
There will also be vegan options available. And you can stop by MI Vegan to try their battered cauliflower wings called Midwest Wings.
"It's one of our most popular items. We have, like, kind of house-made garlic parmesan sauce that goes on, you know, one of the sauces, and then we have barbecue and buffalo. But I mean, they're, they're pretty good," said co-owner and founder Michael Graham.
Graham and his wife opened their food truck during the pandemic and hope that they will be able to get some good feedback during the festival.
The festival starts at 2 pm for general admission and tickets cost $5 to get in. At 3:59 pm the price goes up to $15. There's also a VIP option you can purchase online that will get you into the festival an hour earlier and has other perks.
Festival of Oddities
On Saturday you can also welcome fall and the Halloween season at the Festival of Oddities in Charlotte. The festival starts at 11 am and is returning for its third year. It will have about 100 vendors, food trucks, live entertainment, carnival games, animal rescues, and more.
"We are going to be having lots of spooky vendors, local artists that make you know, wonderful art and jewelry and stuffed animals and other things all connected to the macabre," said Jenn Carpenter, founder of the festival.
She says the festival is basically a macabre marketplace. Meaning you'll see things that are dark, horror-themed, paranormal, and related to true crime.
The festival will take place at the Courthouse Square Museum and admission is free for everything happening outside.
You will have to pay $5 to enter the museum for additional festival fun.
"Indoors is where the savings scales reptile rescue will be the surgical collection which is a traveling medical and paranormal oddities museum. And then the presentations throughout the day with you know paranormal and true crime authors and podcasters and experts," Carpenter said.
And then there will be a gallery reading at the end of the night with a world-renowned psychic medium.
"It is an all-ages event but of course you know there may be some things here that are spooky for the really young so you know if your kids are maybe easily scared by that kind of stuff it might not be the place but it definitely is an all-ages event," Carpenter said.
Both festivals will have COVID safety precautions in place and people are encouraged to wear masks.