The pandemic knocked out a lot of the usual things we love to attend over the past year and a half. Fortunately, many events have begun to return. Some festivals, carnivals, and fairs returned this year. Not sure yet if we will see the return of the three-holiday parades in Binghamton, Johnson City, and Endicott, but I'm sure we'll hear soon, and hopefully they will all be back,

Even the annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally has returned after a year off, and even though it's this weekend (October 8th, 9th & 10th) it's normally the first weekend in August. But that's okay. A Spiedie Fest in cooler weather is a nice change from what is normally a very hot and muggy first week in August. Plus, the Binghamton University students will get to experience the festival for the first time, since they are normally on summer break.

And another event making its return after a year off is the annual Columbus Day Parade and Italian Festival in Downtown Binghamton. The parade has always been a fun part of the festivities and included the Tournament of Bands competition among area high school marching bands.

With schools and some businesses closed on Monday, October 11th, it's a great event to attend to see several local high school marching bands performing their best stuff, and enjoying some great food as well. I look forward to sampling all the different types of Italian foods every year at the Italian Festival.

The parade will kick off at 10 a.m. heading east from Main & Arthur Streets to the Broome County Courthouse on Court Street, Binghamton.  The Italian Festival will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Water Street next to Boscovs. Keep in mind that there will be some road closures during the parade and around the Italian Festival area.

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The Spiedie Fest's Most Memorable Guests

The Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally; arguably Binghamton’s most cherished event. Every year, Binghamton locals, spiedie lovers, and hot-air balloon enthusiasts alike wait patiently for Binghamton, New York’s annual festival to roll around.  

The Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally is an annual three-day festival in Binghamton, New York celebrating the local community and its immersive culture; including the infamous spiedie sandwich and an array of hot air balloons; a sight common to locals.  

The Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally attracts over 100,000 people, including some popular celebrity faces and performers. 

Check it out! Here are 10 of the most memorable Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally guests: