I was having a conversation last night with one of the few people that I know, that has lived all his life in the Binghamton area, and never visited the Spiediefest and Balloon Rally.  How could that be?  I suppose it's possible but why would one miss the Southern Tier's best festival year after year?

We'll call him Denny.  He did have a good question.  He asked me, who the "real" star is of the festival.  Is it the balloons?  In my opinion, having that many hot air balloons in one place is amazing.  This year's Elvis balloon is supposed to be one of the most sought-after balloons touring the country.  Yes, the balloons are popular.

Is it the food?  Well, the food is always fantastic.  You can argue as to who had the first Spiedie or has the best Spiedies, but in my opinion, they are all good.   It's all in your taste and your preference as to which brand is your favorite.  In addition to Spiedie sandwiches, there are many other options.  I don't think it's possible to leave the Binghamton Spiediefest feeling hungry.

Could it be the shopping?  I always seem to manage to pick up a Christmas gift for my sister at the Spiediefest.  You see such unique gift ideas that it's hard not to do some shopping.

But as I was telling Denny, the music is a huge draw.  Over the year's some very big country entertainers have played Otsingingo Park, including Little Big Town, Lonestar, Chris Young, Joe Nichols, Deana Carter, even Uncle Cracker.

This year's Hawk headliner is superstar LeAnn Rimes.  We are thrilled that LeAnn is playing this year's festival as she crosses many musical boundaries and appeals to all ages.

So there you go Denny.  I guess there is no one single star of the Spiediefest & Balloon Rally.  All I know is people come from all over to enjoy these 3 magical days each Summer.  And for the lucky people in the Southern Tier, it's right in our backyard.

For a complete list of events, click HERE.  Maybe I convinced Denny to join us this year!