Popular fundraiser for TINS enjoys successful return

Submitted to the Sun
The Chicken Wings and Guitar Strings event had a successful return on Sept. 13.
Provided/Blake Kessler/Palisades

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — After a two-year hiatus, the popular Guitar Strings vs. Chicken Wings fundraiser returned last month to the Village at Palisades Tahoe. There was concern smoke from the Mosquito Fire would cancel the event yet again (last year, the Caldor Fire forced its cancellation). But east breezes pushed the smoke back, and the crowds turned out to celebrate one of the region’s most fun and entertaining events. 

The fundraiser benefits the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science through a friendly battle of the bands and a chicken wing-tasting competition. 

“It was just so amazing to see the turnout and be able to host this event again,” said Will Richardson, TINS co-founder and executive director. “We want to send a special thanks to everyone who came out on what could have been a much smokier evening, thanks to the bands who all worked really hard to put on a great show, and thanks to all of the restaurants who hustled to keep the wings coming and the lines moving. And of course, thanks to the Palisades Village Neighborhood Community and all of our event sponsors.”

The best band race was extremely close with only 22 votes separating the top three bands: Vice Grip, Electric Cactus, and Tim High and the Mighty.

Vice Grip was awarded a $500 cash prize for taking the top spot. In the wings competition, the Auld Dubliner took home the crown for their Guinness Wings, just edging out Plumpjack and Tremigo. It’s the sixth time in the past eight years the Dubliner has won the battle of the wings. The restaurant will proudly display the wing trophy for one year until the next competition. 

“They’re just made with some care to them,” says Auld Dubliner owner Randy Rogers. “No one does them the way we do them. Which is why we can still win year after year.”  

Rogers was also worried the event may not happen, given the smoke forecast for the day. He says they even considered bringing the band indoors, but the smoke held off just enough, and the band was able to play on the back patio to help create a party atmosphere. 

“This is probably my favorite event of the year,” says Rogers. “I love the evening vibe, all the local music and all the kids are out there having a blast.”

TINS is known for fostering a love of nature for people in the community, and encouraging citizen science efforts like the Big Year Birding Competition and Wildflower Big Year. So of course, in true TINS fashion, scientific discoveries presented themselves at the event. 

“During clean up the next day I found lots of charcoal beetles (Melanophila consputa) trying to get out of the empty retail space we used for ticket sales and bar area,” says Richardson. “These are wood-boring beetles attracted to smoke, and can often be seen on still-smoldering trees in the wake of a fire. Nature discoveries can happen anywhere and at any time.”

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