In 1983, a few families got together and argued over who had the best Spiedie recipe in Binghamton. Spiedies are small pieces of marinated meat (lamb, chicken, pork or beef) that can be skewered and then grilled. To put an end to their friendly rivalry, they held the first Spiedie Fest Cooking Contests in 1983 and 1984. After a successful contest in 1984, a small committee formed and it was decided to create the first SpiedieFest and Balloon Rally at Otsiningo Park with about 5 hot air balloons, some local music and a small children’s area. The goal was simple, to host a safe, fun, affordable event in which our community would be proud. The first year had an attendance of approximately 4,000.
We now host what is considered one of the top hot air balloon rallies in the country drawing over 100,000 admissions each year. Our philosophy remains the same now as it was in 1984: provide a safe, fun and affordable weekend for our community.
In 2001, we were recognized by the Library of Congress with a Legacy Award and today a SpiedieFest display resides in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The same year the festival was also recognized with an award from Syracuse Parks & Recreation as the Event of the Year for New York State. In 2005, the festival was named one of the 100 Destinations in the US by Destination Magazine. The Food Channel ran an episode on the SpiedieFest and Balloon Rally featuring the spiedie cooking contest and is still running today.
We have been named one of the top events by the Press & Sun Bulletin Readers’ Choice Awards every year since the contest began.
Since the inception of SpiedieFest, we have been able to donate over $1,000,000 to great organizations and causes right here in the Broome County area. We hope to continue this worthwhile tradition of entertainment and philanthropy for many years to come! Thank you to everyone who makes this possible.
Most attendees of SpiedieFest choose to get a SpiedieFest Ticket, which allows admission to the festival and all concerts throughout the weekend for one low price. Tickets for 2018 are $25 before July 8th, and $30 from July 9th until August 2nd. Tickets will not be sold after August 2nd at 6pm. Tickets are not sold at the gates of the festival.
Daily walk-in admission to the festival is $5 per person, children 8 and under free. Daily admission does not include concert or meet and greet access. There is no pre-sale of walk-in admission – you only pay on arrival.
For 2018, all walk-in admission for Friday, August 3rd is complimentary courtesy of Visions Federal Credit Union. However, a ticket or concert pass is still required to enter the concert area that evening.
At a participating location in Binghamton
- Weis Markets – All Locations
- Oakdale Mall Office
- Sidney Federal Credit Union
No pets, backpacks, coolers or alcohol of any kind are allowed.
Please review the full festival schedule to find specific events.
Parking & Travel Info
Parking for the festival is at Broome Community College (BCC) located on Front Street just north of Exit 5 off I-81. Traffic can also access BCC from Exit 6 off I-81.
907 Front St, Binghamton, NY 13905, USA
On-site parking is not available at Otsiningo Park.
- Friday: 2:00 pm to 10:30 pm
- Saturday: 8:00 am to 10:30 pm
- Sunday: 8:00 am to 10:30 pm
HANDICAPPED PARKING is available at BCC.
- Shuttle bus fee for those not parking at BCC will be $8.00 per group.
- $8.00 parking fee is an additional charge and is not included in the button/admission fee for Spiedie Fest.
- Parking for morning balloon launches is available free of charge at Roosevelt School across the bridge within walking distance to the park.
Otsiningo Park, Binghamton, NY 13905, USA
ADDITIONAL HIGHWAY/NEIGHBORHOOD ROAD INFO
Variable message boards will be placed on the major approaches to Ostiningo Park on I-81 (N&S) and I-88 (Westbound connector) advising motorists that no stopping or parking will be allowed along the shoulders of these major highways.
In addition, no public parking will be available along Front & Bevier Streets. Parked vehicles within these areas will be towed. In order to accommodate pedestrian traffic, lane & shoulder closures will exist along Bevier Street. Motorists are asked to use extreme caution while traveling along Bevier Street due to the expected pedestrian traffic.
Please help us keep this family event safe for everyone.
Do you have a product that you would like to sell at SpiedieFest? Each year our festival brings tens of thousands of people to Binghamton over a three day weekend. We feature food, craft, and commercial vendors of all types.
There are three main vendor areas at the festival
- Craft Fair– vendors selling handmade craft goods, located in the craft village area in the north end of the park.
- If you are a Craft Vendor and would like to be included in this years Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally, we still have openings call 607-765-6604 to obtain the correct form.
- Commercial Row – vendors selling manufactured goods and wares, including services, along the jogging path of the park,we still have openings for commercial/non-profit call 607-765-6604 to get form.
- Food Vendors – FOOD VENDORS MUST CALL 607-761-2475 TO BECOME PART OF OUR EVENT. An on-line application is not available. Vendors with various foods from breakfast to dinner to dessert. Located throughout the park, but often located in the two main infield areas.
To obtain a food permit the following must be done
The food service permit application needs to be submitted by the vendor along with the $50 permit fee. These items should be submitted as soon as possible after you have obtained a location through the Spiedie Fest coordinator. For further information or questions call the Broome county Health Department at (607) 778-2847.
Most years the vendor slots at the festival fill quickly – it is important to reserve your space early.
When you register as a vendor for the festival, you will be sent a vendor packet prior to the beginning of the festival that includes key information, passes for parking, and festival admission passes. Please keep these with you and in a safe place.
SpiedieFest has many sponsorship packages available. Some common sponsorships include:
- Key Events (5K Race, Volleyball Tournament, Etc)
- Tent \ Location Sponsorships (“Your Company” Volunteer Hospitality Tent)
- Large corporate presence tents
- Concerts, fireworks, and others
Sponsorship packages vary, and can be worked out by talking directly with festival staff. Please contact us for more information.
Car Show: Jack Sherman Toyota
Kelly LaBare 5k: The Agency, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Wegmans
Taste NY: Cornell Cooperative Extension, Broome County IDA
Spiedie Cooking Contest: Lupo’s, WIVT, Newman Development Group, Giant Market Foundation, Wegman
If you SEE something, SAY something!
Broome County and the Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally want to ensure a safe and enjoyable family friendly environment for everyone attending the festival.
Festival attendees are encouraged to report any inappropriate behavior to Festival Personnel or by calling 911.
We expect all attendees to refrain from the following during the event
- Engaging in offensive language or behavior unfit for a family friendly event
- Intoxication or consuming alcohol outside of designated areas
- Possessing weapons or prohibited items
- Acting in a careless, unsafe, or suspicious manner
- Fighting or other threatening behaviors
- Smoking outside of designated areas
- Violating any state or local laws
We welcome your help in our efforts to provide an enjoyable experience for all guests!