American flag hot air balloon returns to the Spiedie Fest, gates open Friday at noon


BINGHAMTON, NY – The return of Spiedie Fest this weekend also marks the return of one of the most popular hot air balloons in the festival’s history.

The American Flag Balloon is scheduled to return to Otsiningo Park this weekend.

At 78 feet wide, 53 feet tall and 29 feet deep, it’s the largest flag shaped balloon in the world.

Without passengers, the balloon and basket weigh nearly 1,000 pounds and its powered by 2 propane burners rated at 30 million B-T-U’s

Tomorrow evening, it will participate in a Night Glow at the festival after the sun goes down.

It’s part of a busy Friday headlined by Barenaked Ladies at 6 o’clock.

Gates open at noon and organizers urge people to get there early.

“Try to get out of work a little bit earlier. We’re really encouraging people. We’ve got as many buses as we can running from SUNY Broome but it’s not the usual amount. There’s school that day so we’re short on school buses. So, we’re asking people to get here early, get in line over there early, come in on buses, wander around, get something to eat, get in line for the concert, get into the concert area, it opens at 4 o’clock, grab a beverage and enjoy the concert area,” says Pessango.

Today is the last day to purchase individual concert tickets for $25 at Wegman’s or

Starting tomorrow, concert tickets go up to $45.

For more information, go to

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