Gary Allan to headline 11th annual WIng-Off

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Mar. 7—CUMBERLAND — Country music star Gary Allan will headline the Thomas Automotive Wing-Off and Music Festival on June 17.

The event will take place at the Allegany County Fairgrounds and also feature the Kentucky Headhunters, Confederate Railroad and Drew Parker.

Hosted by the Western Maryland Jaycees, the annual event includes competitions to determine the region's best chicken wings in a variety of categories, including hottest.

"We are very excited about the event," said Matt Miller, festival organizer. "We had a fantastic year last year after a two-year hiatus from COVID and we had our best year yet and we want to keep that momentum going."

Nashville MCA recording artist Allan burst on the music scene in 1996 with his Billboard Hot Country Singles top 10 hit "Her Man" off the "Used Heart for Sale" album. He has recorded 10 albums, all reaching gold or platinum status, yielding seven top 10 hits as well as four songs that reached No. 1, including "Man to Man," "Tough Little Boys," "Nothing on But the Radio" and "Every Storm (Runs Out of Rain)."

The Kentucky Headhunters are known for their Southern rock sound. Their 1990 hit "Dumas Walker," off the album "Pickin' On Nashville," reached No. 15 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.

"We're real happy with the lineup and we've gotten great feedback from people on it," Miller said of the 11th annual event. "We want to continue to draw people in and raise money for charities."

The Western Maryland Jaycees donates proceeds to a variety of charities.

"We can't staff the whole thing," said Miller. "We have about 170 volunteers that help run the event through the day. They are all representatives from local nonprofit organizations. We give $15 per man hour to the organization they represent in return for their time."

Activities for children will also be featured, including bounce houses, corn hole, yard games, giant tic-tac-toe and mechanical bull riding. In addition to chicken wings, offerings from other food vendors will be available.

RV hookups and primitive camping sites will be available.

The festival begins at noon and ends at 11 p.m. Tickets are available at Discounts are available for early ticket purchases.

"We want to keep it affordable for people and keep our ticket prices as low as we can," said Miller. "We want to put forth a quality day of entertainment at what we consider a very affordable price considering what the industry is putting forth in terms on ticket prices."

Greg Larry is a reporter at the Cumberland Times-News. To reach him, call 304-639-4951, email and follow him on Twitter @GregLarryCTN.