Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally

Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally

Early August
The Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally takes place annually in Otsiningo Park in Binghampton, N.Y., over three days in early August. The Spiedie Fest began in 1983 when a few families got together to decide who had the best recipe for spiedie —a regional delicacy of Italian descent. It consists of small pieces of marinated meat that are skewered and grilled, then served on Italian bread or a roll with fresh marinade on top. In 1985, the families decided to move the cooking contest to a local park and to feature five hot-air balloons, as well as a children's area. The aim was a community event that was fun, safe, and inexpensive. Recently, more than 100,000 have attended each festival, which now incorporates one of the leading hot-air balloon rallies in the United States. Besides bolstering local pride, the event benefits the community, with all profits going to charities in local Broome County.
The centerpieces of the festival are five balloon launches (weather permitting) at dawn and dusk, and the spiedie cooking contest. Other highlights are an antique car display, a craft show featuring more than 200 vendors, a sand volleyball tournament, and a five-kilometer run/walk. There also are live music acts, a variety of food, and celebrity appearances.
CONTACTS:
Spiedie Fest Balloon Rally Expo, Inc.
P.O. Box 275
Westview Station
Binghampton, NY 13905-0275
607-765-6604; fax: 607-729-2062
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