In June, July and early August, State Street might lose the appeal it usually has during the school year, as our fellow Bearcats are home for the summer. The greater Binghamton area, however, has a lot more to offer when school is out. If you plan on staying in Binghamton over the summer, there are plenty of nearby festivals and events to keep you occupied through the months of break.
A Binghamton tradition that’s been going on for 54 years, July Fest is a three-day celebration that brings live jazz music, food and crafts to Downtown Binghamton. On the second day, participants can run in the Parlor City 5K Run, which starts on the east side of the Court Street Bridge and circles around the West Side of Binghamton. The festival is scheduled for July 14 to July 16 and will be located on Court Street between the Binghamton City Court and Water Street. Participation in the 5K costs $18, but admission to the festival itself is free.
Binghamton BBQ Bash
If you want to try local foods while supporting a good cause, this festival is a great opportunity to do both. The Binghamton BBQ Bash will allow visitors to sample food from local restaurants and cast votes for their favorites. Participating restaurants will compete to win prizes in different categories. There will be a cash bar, craft beer tasting and live music throughout the event. The event will take place Saturday, July 29 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Traditions at the Glen Resort and Hotel in Johnson City. General admission is $20, which includes 10 “Tasting Tickets” that can be exchanged for food samples from participating restaurants. All proceeds from the event will go to the Family Enrichment Network, an organization that provides families with child care and educational services.
Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally
If you’ve yet to have a spiedie or are curious about what makes these sandwiches so special, you might want to check out this event. The annual festival, most famous for its spiedie cook-off and hot air balloon rides and displays, will also feature craft and food vendors, a beer and wine garden and a volleyball tournament. It is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 4 to Sunday, Aug. 6 at Otsiningo Park, about a 15-minute drive from campus. The festival will begin at 3 p.m. on Friday and continue until dusk. On Saturday and Sunday, the hours are 6 a.m. to dusk. Balloon launches start at 6 a.m., and other activities begin at 8 a.m. Tickets are not yet available for purchase, but will be available in late spring on the Spiedie Fest website.
Zoo Brew and Wine Too!
This event takes place a month after Binghamton’s 2017 Bar Crawl, giving beer and wine connoisseurs plenty of time to recover. The Binghamton Zoo at Ross Park’s annual fundraising celebration gives zoo visitors the opportunity to taste wine and beer while enjoying live music, activities and of course, the sights and sounds of the animals. The event will take place Saturday, June 17 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets cost $30 for zoo members and $35 for nonmembers, and admission includes 10 beer and wine tasting tickets and a free souvenir glass to the first 300 people to arrive. “Designated Driver” tickets are $10, and include admission to the zoo and complimentary soda or water. All proceeds from the event go toward the zoo’s conservation efforts.
Broome County Fair
For almost 150 years, the Broome County Fair has been a summer highlight for many Southern Tier residents. Visitors can expect food, carnival rides and games, livestock auctions, tractor pulls, a demolition derby, motorcycle stunts and more. The fair will run from Tuesday, July 25 to Sunday, July 30 at the fairgrounds in Whitney Point, about a 25-minute drive from campus. Admission is $6.