Spiedie Fest 2013: Staying grounded

By Michelle Costanza
By Steve Miller

August 3, 2013 Updated Aug 5, 2013 at 10:21 AM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Friday marked the 29th year for the annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally, but stormy weather kept some of the excitement on the ground.

Showers and thunderstorms slid through the area during the evening kicking up winds and posing a threat to the big launch in Otsiningo Park.

"We are a slave to the wind. There is no steering mechanism, you have to learn the wind patterns as you fly and then go up and down through the ways you want to go," explained Brittany Graham, a hot air balloonist from Billings, Montana.

Graham and her husband travel the country each summer showcasing their balloon at different festivals and showing people the ropes.

The Graham's balloon is 120,000 ft. That volume is equivalent to fitting 120,000 basketballs into the inflated portion of the dirigible.

Though more than 35 hot air balloons stayed grounded during the kick-off evening, the disappointment did not carry over to the food stands.

Spectators were able to browse the balloons and take their taste buds on their own trip to the heavens while enjoying Binghamton's claim to fame: spiedies.

The balloons are scheduled to launch on Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m., weather permitting. Events will run through Sunday.

For more information about the events at Spiedie Fest, visit the website www.spiediefest.com