GrassRoots kicks off with lovely weather, snazzy raffle, and streaming video

July 17, 2014 by Rachel Cera

Are you ready? The Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance is off and running! The four-day celebration at the Trumansburg Fairground includes music, art, food, dancing, workshops, kids' games, camping, and lots more.

The GrassRoots village is popping up!The GrassRoots village is popping up!It wouldn't be GrassRoots without a chance of a thunderstorm, but for now the weather forecast looks beautiful for most of the weekend, with clear to partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the 70s most of the time and 50s overnight, perfect for camping. Don't forget the sunscreen! The GrassRoots medical tent doesn't have sunscreen or sunburn lotion, but you can always go get some at one of the nearby stores.

For the first time, GrassRoots is holding a raffle with some fun GrassRootsy prizes! The grand prize is a two-year lease on a new Toyota Prius hybrid. Another prize is a trip to the Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival in Miami with admission for two and a $1,000 travel voucher to AAA Travel or $500 cash. And one more prize is a genuine Jeb Puryear guitar! Tickets cost $5 for one, $20 for four, or $100 for fifty and will be sold for cash only at the festival, with the prize winners being drawn after the Sim Redmond Band set on Sunday evening. 

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.

When you're packing the car to head up to the fairgrounds, remember this year's new festival policy: 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 back at the tent and pour your servings into plastic cups to carry around with you. Bring a can koozie 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 Romer from GrassRoots. "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 weekend. 14850 Photo.Sheriff Lansing helping at the Stop DWI breathalyzer station at the Finger Lakes Wine Fest last weekend. 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.

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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