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    Posted August 10, 2013 by
    alexpreditor
    Location
    Binghamton, New York

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    Balloon versus Chicken: A Spiedie Fest Story

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     alexpreditor attended the annual Spiedie Fest, a festival that has been going on since 1983 in Binghamton, New York. The festival lasts for three days and usually happens between the dates of August 1 through the 3. 'The highlight of this year's festival was probably [seeing singer] LeAnn Rimes. But, I wasn't so interested in filming her performance as much as the food and balloons. Historically, those have been the two main themes here. She says spiedie is an Italian sandwich food, featuring cubes of meat like chicken, pork and lamb. 'It's interesting to me that the festival is billed as a "food" festival with a hot air balloon component, instead of a hot air balloon festival that serves food,' she said. 'People come for the spiedies, but stay for the balloons.'
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    The Spiedie is a sub famous in Greater Binghamton, sold in local delis and at state fairs in the area.

    Likewise, Binghamton's Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally now in its 30th year, is celebrated for three days at the beginning of August where tourists and locals come for the Spiedies but stay for the balloons, launched every morning and night.

    http://www.spiediefest.com/
    http://www.hotairballoon.com/Spiedie-Fest-and-Balloon-Rally/

    I traveled to Binghamton, ate a Spiedie, rode a hot air balloon and learned more about the festival from pilots and chefs.

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