Binghamton's Spiedie Fest returns to August, with food and live music | 14850

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Binghamton’s Spiedie Fest was canceled in 2020 and moved to October in 2021, and it returns to its usual August weekend for 2022. Running this Friday through Sunday, it’s part county fair, part music festival, and part celebration of the Southern Tier’s signature food, the spiedie!

This year’s Spiedie Fest runs August 5th through 7th, and is open 3-9pm on Friday, 10am-8:30pm on Saturday, and 10am-8:30pm on Sunday. Scheduled music includes Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line on Friday at 7pm, Lou Gramm of Foreigner on Saturday at 7pm, and Gary Levox of Rascall Flatts on Sunday at 7pm. Tickets for each concert are available with a one-day festival pass for $20, or for all three concerts and three festival days for two people for $99 at spiediefest.com.

Spiedies are marinated cubes of meat, grilled and served on Italian bread or a roll, and they date back decades to when Italian immigrants around the triple cities of Binghamton, Johnson City, and Endicott marinated affordable cuts of meat to make them tender, then made sandwiches for a quick meal.

Lamb spiedies at the Salamida’s Spiedies booth at Spiedie Fest. 14850 Photos by Mark H. Anbinder.

Spiedie pioneer Rob Salamida didn’t invent spiedies, but he started selling them in 1967 to put himself through college, and then opened a popular concession stand at the New York State Fair in Syracuse. It was 1971, and he was the youngest vendor ever to operate a booth at the Fair.

In 1975, Salamida decided to start bottling and selling his popular Salamida’s spiedie sauce through local stores, and it’s now available in thousands of stores across most of the United States and online at spiedie.com.

There are plenty of places to get spiedies in and around Binghamton, with Lupo’s Char-Pit among the most popular. They’ve also got one of the big spiedies stands at Spiedie Fest, right across from Salamida’s — who only serves up their signature sandwiches at Spiedie Fest and, until recently, the State Fair.

The Salamida’s booth at the 2019 Spiedie Fest in Binghamton.

Lamb is said to be the original spiedie, served on squishy sliced Italian bread, but these days chicken and pork are more common… as are sub rolls. You’ll often find peppers and onions, but there’s no need for condiments!

In 2019 for the first time, Salamida’s added tofu spiedies to their lineup, marinated in that signature sauce and then grilled, for those who love spiedies but don’t eat meat.

Spiedie Fest, which takes over the beautiful Otsiningo Park conveniently off Exit 5 from Interstate 81, also features plenty of other fair-style food, a New York State tasting tent with New York wines and spirits, and a beer tent featuring regional craft beer, plus rides and live music.

Carnival rides outdoors

Spiedie Fest features rides and food vendors as well as live music. 14850 file photo.

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