HONESDALE — By the time bluegrass band “The Farm Hands” took the stage in Honesdale’s Central Park, people had staked claim to their spots to take in a full day of music.
Some strumming, picking, and harmonizing were only the beginning of what was on tap for the ninth year of the free Roots and Rhythm Music and Arts Festival.
Christine Newhard of Allentown said she was ready for a summer festival like this after a harsh winter.
“All the people here are having a good time there’s so many things to do, you get to eat, drink, arts and crafts, little bit of everything,” said Newhard.
Burt Weinstein and his wife Mary like the fact that Roots and Rhythm is free admission. The free admission is made possible by $45,000 from sponsors.
“I guess the sponsors have really kicked in, I’d like to thank them, it’s great, it really is,” said Weinstein.
While the bands played there was lots to see and do around the park. There was a full range of food to pick from, and artists put their work up for sale.
New this year is a beer garden that raises money for the Honesdale Rotary’s causes.
“We thought it would add a nice element to the festival, hoping to raise funds to give back to the community,” said Richelle Stephens of the Honesdale Rotary.
Organizers said Roots and Rhythm keeps people coming back year after year. They estimated 5,000or so in attendance in each of the past few years.
“It’s become a tradition, not just for Honesdale, but for families. It’s country, Americana, rhythm, blues, and a little gospel switched in there,” said Brian Fulp.
Now that summer’s in full swing, Nicole Bixby’s family can enjoy the start of the season together.
“It’s kid and family friendly, you can kick back and relax and chat and enjoy the music, lots of variety. And refreshments,” said Bixby of Montrose.