23rd GrassRoots Festival thrives in stormy weather
Locals have a saying that GrassRoots brings the Rain. That proved to be true for this year's festival. As our Tamara Lindstrom tells us, the cloudy skies haven't dampened spirits at the Trumansburg Fairgrounds.
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TRUMANSBURG, N.Y. -- Performers have taken the stages and a crowd of 15,000 has taken over the Trumansburg Fairgrounds for the 23rd annual Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Art.
"I'm really excited because this is such an Ithaca festival," said Clare Molloy, visiting from Perth, Australia. "I was here for a year and I didn't get to come last year and I really wanted to. And everyone was talking about what an awesome time it always is. So I'm just excited to hang out and experience that."
As revelers poured in, the skies followed suit.
"I think people expect it. Grassroots brings the rain, and they prepare for it," said Nana Monaco, office manager for the festival.
However, the soggy start hasn't washed away the celebratory spirit.
"Considering the fact that it's been like 90 degrees, this is so much nicer than it being so hot," said Ithaca resident Courtney Winter.
Organizers are also counting on the good weather to keep day-of ticket sales up, so they can give tens of thousands of dollars to charity.
"A lot of money gets brought into the community and goes back," Monaco said. "We really like to support Ithaca Health Alliance and Doctors Without Borders, and many, many other charities."
The non-profit festival raised about $60,000 for charity last year, and it doesn't look like a little rain will slow ticket sales.
"No way. I'm used to really, really super hot festival weather in Australia, so having a bit of rain is no problem," Molloy said.
The GrassRoots Festival runs through Sunday. Tickets are still available at the gate.