Mild or hot? Medium or suicide?
And the answer, at the first-ever Guns vs Hoses – Wing Eating Contest in Tillsonburg at Kelsey’s Restaurant on June 11 will be… all of the above.
“Saturday, June 11th is our Opening Patio Party,” said Kendall Causyn, Kelsey’s Tillsonburg manager, guest experience. “We’re going to have live music, samples, giveaways, and our main focus for the evening is our Guns vs Hoses Wing Eating Contest. Everything’s going to be out on the patio. We’re going to make it a big event for everybody.
“It’s something we want to have annually,” said Causyn, noting their contest is unique in the Kelsey’s restaurant family. “We’re hoping other Kelsey’s catch on to it.”
Kelsey’s received confirmation from the Oxford OPP (Tillsonburg) and the Tillsonburg Fire Services, who are both planning to enter multiple four-person teams.
“It’s a great way to raise money for some good charities,” said Tillsonburg Fire Services Chief Jeff Smith. “It created some interest and excitement when I mentioned it to the firefighters at training.”
“I’ve been training for this a long time,” smiled Oxford OPP Inspector Tim Clark. “I thought it was a good idea as far as camaraderie between the fire department and the police force. We work together throughout the town in partnership for emergency services. Why not have a fun night where we can compete for a good cause and raise some money?”
“We always like to work together with our partners in the fire department,” said Oxford OPP Constable Stacey Culbert. “This is a great way for officers and the firefighters to get together on a different level. Usually we’re meeting a serious call.”
Both teams are busy recruiting their teams for the June 11th wing eating contest.
“We have a signup sheet up,” said Smith. We’re looking for at least two teams, so it’ll probably be eight… we’re also having our fire dispatchers involved, so we’ve got a couple of our communicators on one of the teams.
“Also, our charity is Muscular Dystrophy, so we have a couple of our area reps coming down for the event.”
Smith said he will also be on one of the Fire Services teams.
“I intend to,” he smiled, noting his preference is usually mild wings. “That way you don’t waste time drinking water.”
Clark also says he is a ‘for sure’ participant.
“I like hot when I have wings,” said Clark, adding with a laugh, “although going into a competition, I don’t know if that will be a good thing. I’ll make the decision that night.”
“We’ll do it kind of like a relay,” said Causyn. “You want to make sure they clean it off, and it’ll go from person to person on that team. If one side has more teams, we’ll have to do the math. We’re going to have judges and we’re going to make it as fair as possible. We’re really going to play it up, too.”
“Should be a great night, we’ll definitely have a couple teams of four in there,” said Constable Culbert. “It’s something different, and we’ll get some community involvement.”
“I would imagine there could be more than two (OPP teams),” said Clark. “There certainly is a little bit a pride if you win a hockey game, or if you win a chicken wing eating contest.”
“Everyone’s got a competitive spirit,” said Culbert. “We haven’t chosen our charity yet, but we’re hoping that we come out as the winners, and we’ll get some of the money donated to a charity of our choice.”
The June 11th Opening Patio Party will be a kick-back night, where Kelsey’s gives back 20 per cent to the winning team’s charity.
“We’re going to be handing out cards, and everybody who brings back cards that night, and eats or drinks, that’s how we give back the 20 per cent,” said Causyn. “If you come that night, you’ll come on behalf of the OPP or the Firefighters, we’ll tally up your bill and that’s how we make our donation. We staple the card to your receipt.”
Kelsey’s Tillsonburg was purchased by Kevin McIntyre and Jason Soldan, from London, last December. The General Manager is Sean Cross, who will be the Guns vs Hoses MC.
“Our patio this year has a new menu – the beginning of June we’re going to be launching our new lunch menu and we also have a new dinner board coming out as well,” said Causyn, looking forward to the opening night party. “We have the Mexican Braised Beef Rice Bowl, the Tiki Island Steak and Shrimp, absolutely delicious, and on our lunch board we have a Mexican Braised Beef Burrito and Montreal Smoked Meat Melt. A big seller is going to be our Grilled Peach and Chicken Salad.”
“We certainly want to see everyone come out and have a good time,” summed up Culbert. “It’ll be an opportunity for them to bring out their family, their friends, too, for a good night.”
“We’d like to give back as much as we possibly can,” said Causyn. “It’s all based on how many attend and getting the word out.”