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Food, music, fun

Wing Fling is Saturday at River Hops

The event, called Wing Fling, is somewhat of a makeup event after Rib Ruckus was canceled earlier in the summer. Rib Ruckus is a rib fest competition. It is organized by the Rural Iowa Barbecue Society.

“We had to cancel Rib Ruckus this year and unfortunately planning and prep was underway, so there was some expense that could not be recouped,” said Tim Mapel, one of the organizers. “So with that in mind and the simple fact we decided we really wanted to do something for the community to have something to do now that things have started to lightly open back up we came up with Wing Fling.”

Wing Fling is organized by the Tailgaters and Rural Iowa Barbecue Society along with River Hops Brewing and support from the Attig and Hobbs Weather Page.

Admission to the Wing Fling is free, but a freewill donation is encouraged if attendees wish to eat wings. Proceeds will go to help support Rib Ruckus in 2021.

One of the cornerstones to Wing Fling is a cornhole tournament. Cornhole, sometimes called bags, is a game where players take turns throwing 16-ounce bags at a board with a hole on the far end.

Cost is $50 per team (two people) and is double elimination. The tournament will begin at noon.

Rules will adhere to the American Cornhole League rules, Mapel said.

“Teams are allowed to use their own bags,” Mapel said. “But the bags will have to be weighed if they use their own. If they don’t have bags, we have plenty that are available.”

Almost 20 teams have signed up. And Mapel said that means the prize fund is likely to reach $1,000.

Registration will open at 8 a.m. onsite. Registration will be accepted up until right before the tournament begins.

The wing portion of the event is not a competition.

“It’s just a community event for people to come out to,” Mapel said.

Wings will be purchased from Fareway.

Knotwater Barbecue Company, of Des Moines, will provide the rub and sauce for the wings. “They are also bringing up a rally car for people to look at,” Mapel said. “Everything will just kind of flow into Ron’s back patio. We have got it laid out to where social distancing is possible.”

The Tailgaters will cook the wings. First come, first serve.

The parking lot north of River Hops and the Brass Monkey has been reserved for the event.

That’s where the cooking and the bags tournament will be played.

Parking in those lots will not be permitted from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday.

In terms of live music, Clint Riedel and The Truth will perform from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Lone Tree Revival will play from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“Lone Tree Revival being there on their own is a perk,” Mapel said. “If you haven’t seen them perform, they are phenomenal.”

River Hops will serve its wide selection of craft beers. A limited supply of domestic beers will also be available.

Mapel said Wing Fling is the type of event not offered very often in the area.

“Putting together an event that doesn’t happen here is fun,” he said. “Cornhole, a wing fest and live music worked into one.”

In terms of attendance, Mapel is cautiously optimistic.

“With everything going on — the COVID — we haven’t made any definite decisions if any money will go anywhere else. In the 18 years I’ve been doing event planning, this will be the first year where I don’t have any sort of idea for what to expect as far as a turnout. We could very easily get skunked on the day of or get a whole bunch of people out who are eager to do something.”

Mapel said if the Wing Fling is successful it might not be the last one.

“There is a possibility of turning it into a second event for us,” he said. “We thought if we would do a wing fest, if everything goes well, there is a possibility of it turning into a second event for us.”


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