More than 2,300 people downed a total of 16,000 wings in the record-setting Wings on the Water event, according to festival spokeswoman Karla Constantine.
“This has been unbelievable,” she said. “All these people came out in support of the festival. We went through 50 boxes of chicken, compared to 32 last year.”
While smoke was swirling around the riverside Mill Point Park, senior citizens were twirling to the tunes of The River Rogues Jazz Band at the nearby Holiday Inn.
Standing at Mill Point Park holding a cardboard container of chicken wings, Nunica resident Dave Binder said he appreciates all of the festival events and the way they bring the community together.
“It’s summer and everyone is having a great time,” he said. “We’re down on the water, there are wings and beer, it’s a good time.”
By the time the smoke cleared, Spring Lake Country Club took first place in the Judges’ Choice category. The People’s Choice award went to King of Wings.
Spring Lake resident Dick Peel said he loved the variety of flavors.
“Our favorite is really mild,” he said. “The other stuff is too strong.”
The Spring Lake Heritage Festival has a strong finish planned for this weekend — with a pickleball tournament at Central Park at 8 a.m. today and Saturday, a car show from 5-9 tonight, an entertainment tent tonight and Saturday night at Mill Point Park, a 5K run at Central Park Saturday morning and a pancake breakfast at Barber School, Highland Games from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Central Park, and the fireworks finale blasting off at 10:15 Saturday night.
See more photos from Thursday night and other Heritage Festival events at grandhaventribune.com/photos.