They started as a late night snack and are now grabbing national headlines.

This year marks the fiftieth since Teressa Bellissimo warmed up some leftover chicken wings with hot sauce and served them to her son and his friends.  Instantly deemed a hit by the boys, the next day Bellissimo added the wings to the menu at their family-owned Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York.

Since then they have become a staple in the fast food diet of millions of Americans.  The National Chicken Council estimates that this year alone Americans will buy 13.5 billion wing sets (cut into approximately 27 billion wings).  And that mass consumption has led to eating contests.

The wing's founding city, Buffalo, will host its 13th Annual National Buffalo Wing Festival and chicken wing eating contest at the end of August and this year it will be televised.  WIVB-TV in Buffalo reports that ESPN3 will broadcast the event live.

The national festival is scheduled to take place on Saturday and Sunday August 30 and 31, 2014.