BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Spiedie Fest is returning to its traditional first weekend in August this year with a renewed focus on family entertainment and a revamping of the competition that started it all.

Organizers held a news conference today to outline highlights of this year’s festival.

They include a pair of animal-themed shows featuring dogs and parrots as well as meet and greets with Peppa Pig and Wimpy Kid.

The annual cooking contest is under new management with new prizes and the largest field in many years.

Plus, an expanded car show, 3 special shape balloons, concerts from nationally-known acts as well as local and regional musicians and plenty of food and not just spiedies.

Event Coordinator Dave Pessagno said, “We’ve got a lot of great family entertainment planned for the weekend. We hope you come out and enjoy all that we have going on. The food vendors, mac and cheese, chicken barbeque, spiedies, everything you can imagine, frozen bananas, cotton candy, every festival food you can imagine, will be out here at the festival.”

The concert lineup is Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line on Friday, Lou Gramm of Foreigner on Saturday and Gary LeVox of Rascall Flatts on Sunday.

All concerts are at 7 p.m. and require a separate $20 ticket.

For more information, go to spiediefest.com.