26th annual GrassRoots Festival kicks off on a sad note

“The wisest person we’ve ever known peacefully left this world yesterday morning,” said GrassRoots Festival organizers of Leslie Puryear, who was present when the idea for GrassRoots was conceived and was involved every year, before and during the festival.

GrassRoots matriarch Leslie Puryear died yesterday. Photo provided.

GrassRoots matriarch Leslie Puryear died yesterday. Photo provided.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the GrassRoots Festival wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Leslie Puryear,” organizers say. “She put decades of work into the event itself, and she tilled music and activism in our community for decades prior, making a fertile ground in which an event like this could grow and flourish.”

“We’ll be setting up a memorial at the festival, where folks can leave photos and art and written thoughts and whatnot, so if you’d like to bring something to contribute, please do.”

The gates are open

Festival gates are open at the Trumansburg Fairground, and attendees are now allowed on the festival grounds. Music begins with the Bubba George Stringband at 1:30pm.

Free parking is available on Agard Road, with free shuttle buses. Some homeowners and businesses near the fairground sell parking on their property; the lot set up near the Trumansburg ShurSave is an annual fundraiser for the Trumansburg Middle School’s 8th grade trip. Parking on the side of the road is illegal in many spots around the fairgrounds, and you may get ticketed or towed.

Camping tickets are generally sold out ahead of the festival, but admission tickets (which don’t include camping) are still available! Organizers say single-day and four-day tickets remain available and won’t sell out. “Because it’s an outdoor festival, there is generally enough room for everyone.”

Leave the glass bottles home

Glass bottles aren’t allowed at GrassRoots! Festival organizers added this rule two years ago, in hopes of avoiding the usual spate of injuries to bare feet due to broken glass by encouraging people to bring beer cans instead of bottles, and keep the larger bottles (growlers and the like) back at the tent and pour your servings into plastic cups to carry around with you. Bring a can koozie or travel mug or buy one at the festival to help keep your beer cold and keep the event family-friendly.

The GrassRoots village is popping up! Don't forget to leave five feet of space between tents.

The GrassRoots village is popping up! Don’t forget to leave five feet of space between tents.

Besides sunscreen, bring your cell phone charger cable with you and power your phone with the sun! Renovus Energy is setting up their awesome solar-powered charging station again, with plenty of USB ports and electric outlets powered by nothing but clean sunlight.

How’s the weather look?

It’s GrassRoots! It’s going to rain! But the forecast shows a relatively low chance of too much rain. Scattered thunderstorms are most likely on Friday. It’ll be mostly sunny and hot through the weekend, with temperatures hovering around 90 during the day and dropping into the mid 60s overnight each night.

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