Otsiningo Park Reopens Post-Spiedie Fest
Otsiningo Park in the Town of Dickinson is getting back to normal following several days of setup then three days of spiedies, hot air balloons, concerts and thousands of visitors.
The cleanup for Spiediefest is continuing but the popular park was set to reopen to the general public Tuesday, August 9.
The 30th annual festival, which started as a humble spiedie cooking contest for local bragging rights, returned to its normal date on the first weekend of August after being moved to October last year and sidetracked in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic.
There were a few changes to the festival this year in order to increase the experiences available to families and others. There was parking available to the general public within the park for the first time and several activities and attractions geared to the younger set like appearances by cartoon characters Pippa the Pig and Diary of a Whimpy kid as well as dog and parrot shows were added.
There are no solid numbers available for attendance but the concerts that were offered at an additional admission level were, in many cases, described as sell-outs.
There were also more arts and crafts and merchandise vendors on site.
The expansion and reported enthusiastic attendance all came as temperatures Saturday and Sunday soared into the 90s with the heat index values around 100.
Emergency communications activity on Sunday morning indicated several medic calls to the park for heat-related issues but there were no official reports of serious injury, illness or complications due to the hot weather.
In addition to being a big boost to the local economy from people coming from even out-of-state to attend to vendors, balloonists and performers, the festival also serves as a benefit for local charities.