A beautiful day as GrassRoots begins its 25th annual festival of music and dance

July 16, 2015 by Rachel Cera

Happy GrassRoots! The 25th annual festival is ready to kick off at the Trumansburg Fairground, and we're ready for some amazing music and joy.

Don't forget to leave five feet of space between tents if you're camping at GrassRoots. That's the rule!Don't forget to leave five feet of space between tents if you're camping at GrassRoots. That's the rule!The four-day celebration at the Trumansburg Fairground includes music, art, food, dancing, workshops, kids' games, camping, and lots more, but this year there will be some special festivities for the 25th anniversary, including a celebration that takes over the whole event at 10pm Saturday.

Showers are likely overnight Friday, with a chance of thunderstorms, and showers are likely again on Sunday afternoon, but otherwise the weather forecast looks festival-friendly for most of the weekend. High temperatures in the mid 80s over the weekend mean sunscreen and extra water are a good idea! The GrassRoots medical tent doesn't have sunscreen or sunburn lotion, but you can always go get some at one of the nearby stores. There's plenty of free water located all around the venue.

Want a chance to win a few bucks while helping a great cause? This year's GrassRoots raffle will benefit Roots in the Schools, the festival's music outreach program that brings music education to area schools, according to marketing director Megan Romer. It's a 50/50 raffle, so half the money collected will be prize money and the other half will go to the cause. Look for 50/50 tickets at the Merchandise Barn or from roving volunteers.

What do you need to see? Read Alan Rose's amazing musical preview and fire up our mobile schedule on your phone to remind you of what's when.

Also, if you can't make it to the festival yourself, check out the online streaming video offered by the Black Vest Crew.

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.

When you're packing the car to head up to the fairgrounds, remember the new festival policy instituted last year: no single-serving glass bottles! GrassRoots hopes to avoid 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.

If you realize you've had a little too much to drink, don't drive home! Relax at the festival until you feel it's safe to drive. "We absolutely don't want people driving home under the influence," says Megan. "If people can't make it home, they should feel free to have a nap in our dance tent or in some other safe, covered place."

Police will sometimes issue a ticket if you are behind the wheel of a car while drunk even if it's not running, but Megan tells us "The State Police officers and Sheriffs are always really great with us and our attendees, and I think they feel the same way that we do: napping in your car is far, far better than driving."

Sheriff Lansing helping at the Stop DWI breathalyzer station at the Finger Lakes Wine Fest last year. 14850 Photo.Sheriff Lansing helping at the Stop DWI breathalyzer station at the Finger Lakes Wine Fest last year. 14850 Photo.We asked Tompkins County Sheriff Kenneth Lansing, and he agrees. "Sitting in the car with the keys out of the ignition will keep you out of trouble also while you sober up." He suggests asking festival staff for help getting transportation or a spot to rest while you sober up.

Be careful where you park, too. Parking at the side of the road is illegal in many spots around the fairgrounds, and you may get ticketed or towed. You can park at the nearby stores while shopping there, or they may offer parking for the day or the weekend for a fee. Just south of the ShurSave is a parking lot run as a benefit for the Trumansburg 8th grade class trip, so if you want to be right near the festival, that's a good way to do it. Or, park for free at the GrassRoots lot on Agard Road and take the free shuttle buses! It doesn't take that long as the buses run every few minutes during the day, and a little less often all night. Bring singles to tip your shuttle driver! They appreciate a few extra bucks here and there.

Be safe and have a great time at the GrassRoots Festival! Let us know in the comments below what your favorite part is.

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