Spiedie Fest 2014: Attendance down

By Caroline Goggin

August 4, 2014 Updated Aug 4, 2014 at 6:51 PM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The 30th annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally 2014 officially wrapped up Monday, after a weekend some are calling successful but slow.

"It looked packed but not as packed as I've seen in the past," said team captain for Salamida's booth, Andrew Salamida.

About 75,000 people made it out to the event.

That number compared to past years shows a significant drop.

100,000 people came out to last year's festival and 116,000 attended in 2010.

So what exactly caused this year's drop in attendance?

Many suggest the change from buttons to tickets.

In past years, visitors could purchase a $25 button to use for all events, all weekend long.

This year, attendees were forced to pay a la carte for daily passes and concert tickets.

"I didn't feel like going out and buying a ticket or anything like that and I didn't know ahead of time whether to plan for it," Nate Dobrzynski said.

However, tickets were not the only cause of lower attendance according to officials.

"They were calling for some storms in the afternoon," said event coordinator, Dave Pessagno. "The balloon launch is starting at one o'clock. Surrounding areas were getting a lot of rain so I think that held up a little bit from people coming in."

With weather always being a factor, officials say that next year they will need to try something else to draw people in.

"Improve it a little bit. Maybe, ya know, bring in a little more kids activites," added Pessagno. "We really want to stay family driven and bring in some more kids ride, and kids stuff like that."

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