Counting Down The Days

By Haley Burton

August 1, 2012 Updated Aug 1, 2012 at 6:26 PM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) More than 100,000 people are expected to be at Otsiningo Park this weekend for the 28th annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally.

"28 years ago when we started this, we had four air balloons. We had a local band and a petting zoo. We thought it was greatest thing when 2,000 people showed up. We're expecting over 100,000 people this weekend. It says a lot for the event and the community," said Dave Pessagno, Coordinator.

On Wednesday, vendors were already setting up and the tents could be seen from Interstate 81 at Otsiningo Park.

Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally is August 3, 4 and 5.

Broome County has worked hard to get the Park back in top shape after the September 2011 floods.

“The Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally is an iconic event that displays the best that Broome County has to offer,” said Debbie Preston (R), Broome County Executive. “Beautiful balloons decorate the skies and some of the best musical acts in the nation provide an entertaining soundtrack for a memorable and enjoyable weekend. The Park sustained heavy flood damage last September, but it’s back stronger than ever.”

The Parks Department has constructed new bathroom facilities at the Park.

“Otsiningo is in outstanding shape, after being submerged in 10 feet of water in September,” said Bob Fiacco, Broome County Parks Commissioner. “This weekend the beauty of Otsiningo Park is on display, we’re proud of the work we’ve done since September and our new energy efficient bathroom facility.”

Portion of the playground were replaced as well its wood carpet. Picnic tables were replaced and trees and debris were removed.

This year's Spiedie Fest features all the favorites including live entertainment, balloon rides, nearly 430 vendors as well as a Family Fun Tent and Car Show.

"We've been able to maintain the quality of entertainment we're bringing in without raising prices on anyone. That was a goal from day one once the flood hit. Let's make this affordable for the community," said Pessagno, Spiedie Fest Coordinator.

On Friday, August 3, buses begin transporting at 2:00 p.m. from Broome Community College parking area.

The festival opens at 3 p.m. on Friday.

This year's special shaped balloon is the American Flag. It will be inflated during Friday's opening ceremonies.

There will also be a night glow of the balloons at 8 p.m. and fireworks on Friday.

Friday, August 3
3:00 p.m.
Festival Opens

6:30 p.m.
Balloon Launch

7:00 p.m.
38 Special In Concert

Night Glow of Balloons

Saturday, August 4
8:00 a.m.
Festival Opens

Sand Volleyball Tournament Begins

Shuttle Buses Begin from Broome Community College Parking Area

Commercial Row Opens
Craft Fair Opens
Food Vendors Open
Family Fun Tent Opens
Children's Area Opens
Car Show

1 p.m.
Jake Austin - Meet and Greet

6 p.m.
Saturday Evening Balloon Launch

7 p.m.
Karmin (on the Main Stage)

Sunday, August 5

8:00 a.m.
Festival Opens
Shuttles begin from BCC parking area

Commercial Row Opens
Craft Fair Opens
Food Vendors Open
Family Fun Tent Opens
Children's Area Opens
Car Show - Power Cruise Show

Community Church Service (On the Main Stage)

Hope Tent Opens

Spiedie Cooking Contest (In the main field)
Mark Schultz in Concert

6:30 p.m.
Sunday evening Balloon Launch

7:00 p.m.
Lonestar (on Main Stage)

Buttons are $20 each at the following locations:

Weis Markets - All Locations
Wendy's - Participating Locations
Cost Cutters - All Locations
Can Man
Oakdale Mall - Office
Sidney Federal Credit Union
Horizons Federal Credit Union

Daily admission to the park is $8. This does not grant access to the concert area. To enter the concert area, a button or a daily concert pass must be purchased. Daily concert passes are $25.