23rd Annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally Get Underway

By Kerri O'Hara

July 22, 2010 Updated Aug 3, 2007 at 7:33 PM EST

They are Spiedie Fest die-hards, lined up an hour before the gates even open.

Jeff Norris of Binghamton brought his 2 year old daughter, Sedonnah.

"What are you looking forward to?" asks reporter.

"A balloon," says Sedonnah Norris.

And there will be plenty of hot air balloons.

40 are set to take off at sunrise and sunset each day during this year's Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally.

Sam Lupo of Lupo's Char Pit is preparing for the long haul.

He's expects to serve up 10-thousand Spiedies this weekend and he has some advice for newcomers.

"If you're new to this do you put anything on it?" asks reporter.

"Oh, heaven, no, but you can always tell the people from out of the area. They put mayo or something, but the true spiedie eaters eat it as is on bread or a roll," says Lupo.

But if the reason for the fest doesn't exactly tickle your taste buds, you could always check out the exhibits.

"You're talking about dogs that can jump off my back and go 10 to 12 feet in the air. They do standing 350 back flips and catch frisbees in the middle of that rotation. They literally use my body as a launching pad," says Lawrence Fredrick of Disc Connected K9's.

So from the food, to the vendors to the entertainment you have the next three days to enjoy the Spiedie Fest before it goes away for the year, but it will be back next year on August 1,2, and 3, 2008.

3 day admission buttons are on sale for another hour at local stores like Giant, Wegmans and the Oakdale Mall.

You can also purchase the pass through Ticketmaster.

You must have a button to get into concert areas.

Admission at the gate is 5 dollars daily, but children 10 and under are free.

The gates open at 5:30 am daily for the balloon launches.

For information about events go to www.spiediefest.com.

If you're traveling to the Spiedie Fest or near Otsiningo Park, keep in mind you could run into a lot of traffic.

The Department of Transportation is closing the on ramp to Interstate 81 North from Front Street, or Route 11.

That on ramp will be closed until Sunday at 11:00 pm.

There will be detour signs or you may consider taking an alternate route.

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