Tuesday, August 4, 2015

31st Annual Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally

Two years ago today, I wrote a blog post about the annual Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally (Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally: It's More Than Just Marinated Meat & Balloons). Granted, it was not my best journalistic effort, by any means, as I was new to the entire blogging concept. However, my thoughts concerning how this event reinforces the sense of community have not changed over the last two years. In fact, at the conclusion of this past weekend, I am more convinced than ever of how important this and similar events are to any community. 

This year was very different for me on a more personal level. It was the first year that I volunteered for the Spiedie Fest Committee. It's not everyday someone is privy to the amount of work that goes into an event such as this. The simple coordination of volunteer coverage at the entrance gates and on-site parking lots are not for the weak of heart or spirit. Before I continue with this, I must give a huge shout out to all those on the committee for doing what you do year after year.

Working at the entrance gate off the Bevier Street bridge provided me with the opportunity to observe how events such as this bring so many different segments of the community together. There were the young families with their strollers, baby carriers and wagons. The pure excitement on the faces of the children was enough to melt anyone's heart. 

There were the couples, young and old, who walked hand in hand through the gate and beyond. There was the group of young women, all decked out in the appropriate attire, celebrating a bachelorette party at the fest. For me, the most heartwarming of all was the exuberance on the faces and in the voices of those entering the park from several local organizations with their aides. To see how excited these individuals were, who must deal with varying degrees of disability on a daily basis, to be entering the park is something that will stick with me for a very long time.

So, again, it is not just about marinated meat or balloons. It is a combination of many factors all linked together by a common thread; the people. 

When it became apparent that the wind conditions were not favorable for evening launches on both Saturday and Sunday; there was no anger or mass exodus. People, young and old, lingered and enjoyed the simple companionship of family, friends and perfect strangers. Isn't this what being a part of a community is all about? 


  1. Wow, this Annual Spiedie Fest & Balloon events looks so enjoyable. It would have been a fun event for you. I wish I could also attend such events at the local event locations. Anyway, thanks for sharing these photographs. I really enjoyed reading this post.