Happy 30th anniversary to Binghamton's Spiedie Fest and Balloon Launch.
I started to go to our Spiedie Fest when it was basically a balloon launch, a spiedie cooking contest (what's a spiedie? Click here and try it!) and some craft booths. Now it has become concerts, meet and greets, lots and lots of vendors, a 5K run and - hidden somewhere in this, a celebration of spiedies, our local food.
I don't necessarily dislike meet and greets.... anyone recognize this gentleman?
A spiedie is a marinated meat - the traditional lamb, or chicken, beef, pork, venison - marinated in oil, herbs and vinegar - grilled and then served on Italian bread.
And a confession - I don't like them that much! I have a problem with swallowing (I've had to have my esophagus stretched once already) where I can't eat certain dry foods - and this, along with things like toasted bagels, just don't work good for me.
But I love the balloon launches. And, sometimes you run across someone special.
Anyone recognize this gentleman? (Ah, those meets and greets. I just stumbled into this one as he was leaving, lucky me. And yes, my spouse of 40 years was there to catch me when I fainted. Kidding.)
Here's what I wrote about the launch process last year.
Simply Summer - Up Close At A Balloon Launch
But how close have you ever gotten to one during the launch process?
At this weekend's Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally, in Binghamton, New York, you could get close to the balloons, and watch the entire process from the time the trailer is unloaded, until the balloon is up in the air. This is a Spiedie Fest tradition, the closeness to the process, and one that we cherish, no matter how big the Spiedie Fest has gotten from its start some 29 years ago.
It's amazing how quickly they can set up and launch. They are used to last minute decisions, as a launch on an otherwise sunny day can be ruined by wind.
First come the trailers that carry the balloons. I love the advertising on the side and back.
Watching balloons launch - what a way to spend a beautiful summer late afternoon. The Spiedie Fest is well worth your trip next August to the Binghamton, New York area. Remember this: first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in August.
Have you ever been to a hot air balloon festival?