LIMA — Dick and Joyce Cira waited more than three hours in line Saturday — not for concert tickets or Black Friday shopping, but for chicken wings at St. Gerard’s Catholic School.
They weren’t at the front of the line when we spoke with them but were a little nervous about their chances of scoring some heavenly wings.
“They’d better be there when we get there,” said Dick Cira, a parishioner of the church. “These lines are money and that’s how you have to look at it.”
The event took the place of the annual St. Gerard Festival, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Lima has always supported us with the festival and different fundraisers that we did. But we can never imagine this many cars,” said Mike Mays, St. Gerard Festival Chairman.
The event began at 11 a.m. and was scheduled to run until 7 p.m. but before 3 p.m., they warned those just getting into the line that there might not be wings available when they reached the front of the line.
“Every year when we do wings we try to evolve with it and we just can’t keep up with the demand. Lima just really loves their chicken wings,” said Mays. “We’ve been going full speed since seven o’clock making chicken wings.”
Given the success of this year’s Drive-thru Wingfest, Mays says there have been discussions on holding it for other occasions.
“We’ve talked about, can we do this on a football Sunday or an Ohio State Buckeye game day or something like that where people can come to get their wings and go home and watch the game or something like that. We haven’t obviously set anything in stone yet but that’s definitely a consideration as we see how much support we’ve gotten,” Mays said.
Organizers were expecting to bring in anywhere between $10,000 to $20,000 for the parish’s general fund. Nearly 2,000 pounds of chicken wings were prepared for the event.
Father Mike Sergi was overwhelmed by the support they’ve gotten.
“It is quite a blessing to have this and have our workers come in and everything but it’s just beyond our imagination. We never thought that it was going to be this big. We thought it would be busy and then it would slack off for a couple of hours and it’s been constant since nine o’clock this morning, So this is a great blessing, sorry we’ve run out of chicken wings, but whatever we make is helping the parish and the school,” Sergi said.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.