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A taste of this year's Spiedie Fest celebrations

This weekend, Otsiningo Park was home to Binghamton’s Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally. The annual celebration of the city’s signature dish featured a car show, live music, hot air balloons, and of course plenty of spiedies, the cubed, marinated meat sandwich.

Thousands of spiedie-lovers turned out for the event. WSKG’s Sydney Lee was one of them.

Sydney Lee: It’s a cloudy, early evening as I’m arriving on Saturday’s Spiedie Fest. Now it’s kind of the perfect weather because it’s hot but it's not eating me alive.

As I’m entering from the park, I can see a lot of food trucks and a giant red inflatable pig in the distance. The sounds from the concert are leaking into the entrance so that way you can hear it as you walk in.

I’m trying to get an original spiedie. The tent that they have for it is huge. The back is lined with so many grills, and there are two huge lines to order. Between those lines, there’s a ginormous inflatable of their signature "spiedie sauce."

I managed to talk to Andrew Salamida for a minute while he was between handing out original spiedies at the festival.

Andrew Salamida: Rob Salamida, who’s my father, co-founded the spiedie fest back in 1983 with Paul Vansavage.

Lee: Oh, wow!

Salamida: Yeah, it’s kind of a fun deal, right? We’re kind of a family deal. My sisters helped make up the subs, my mom is cutting up bread that just got made fresh this morning. We’ve been a family business this whole time.

Lee: What do you think is your favorite one?

Salamida: I always like the lamb, I think for me, the Salamida marinade works so well with the gamey-ness of it. It’s something typically I don't cook with at home, so it's good to have it as a treat at Spiedie Fest.

SL: The balloons are another huge part of spiedie fest, and before they get inflated I’m talking to Roger Hooper who is talking about his balloon before he flies it.

Roger Hooper: I have a black with yellow and green chevrons on it. It's black, mainly black, but very bright neon yellow, neon green. I've been coming here since 1999.,1999 was the first year of that balloon. But I've been flying here since the mid-80s. The Spiedie Fest has been very sweet in my heart throughout most of my career.

SL: The balloons are starting to inflate! I’ve never seen hot air balloons inflate or take off before so I’m excited to watch this! With that...this is WSKG News, I’m Sydney Lee.