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Thursday, December 5, 2019

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County officials unveil plans for Woodstock weekend

Aug 9, 2019

By Isabel Braverman  - staff writer

By: Isabel Braverman | Democrat
Captain Chris Zaba, New York State Police Troop F, addresses traffic and safety concerns for the Woodstock weekend at a press conference held at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Tuesday. To his right are Bethel Woods Chief Financial Officer and General Manager Eric Frances and Sullivan County Commissioner of Public Safety Rick Sauer.
BETHEL — Have fun but be safe was the message from a press conference held at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Tuesday afternoon.
Bethel Woods CEO Darlene Fedun was joined by local officials, New York State Police troopers and Sullivan Catskills Visitor's Association President/CEO Roberta Byron-Lockwood to talk about the upcoming Woodstock 50th anniversary celebration.
“Here we are 50 years later,” Byron-Lockwood said. “Woodstock 1969 was, and always will be, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. No matter how hard anyone could try there will never be an exact replica of the power, movement and music of 1969.”
She said they expect around 100,000 visitors during the weekend of August 15 to 18.
“Our highest priorities are safety, clear communication and welcoming everybody from near and far with that famous Sullivan Catskill hospitality,” Byron-Lockwood said.
The Bethel Woods campus and museum will be closed to anyone who isn't attending one of the concerts. Those who have tickets are encouraged to arrive early, as there will likely be wait times.
Fedun announced that the parking lots will open at noon and the gates will open at 2 p.m., which is earlier than usual. Ticketed guests can visit the museum, the Bindy Bazaar and the historic field. There will be pre-show activities such as artisan vendors, food and local performers.
“Bethel Woods is asking everyone during anniversary weekend and the entire balance of the year and summer really to be patient and positive during this anniversary weekend, embrace the true spirit of kindness and this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the history of Sullivan County,” Fedun noted.
All guests must have a travel pass to enter Bethel Woods. Back roads will have limited access, and New York State Police are asking people to avoid Route 17B if they don't have to use it. No parking or walking along Route 17B will be allowed, and cars will be towed.
Bethel Woods will hold concerts Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Other events are also taking place, such as the Yasgur Road Reunion, PorchFest in Callicoon and Woodstock Weekend Kickoff at Bashakill Vineyards.
“The risks we're attempting to mitigate through our plans are the large influx of visitors, several local gatherings going on in the region and its impact on traffic, attempts by visitors who may park nearby and walk to the venue, or guests who may attempt to camp without authorization,” said Eric Frances, Chief Financial Officer and General Manager of Bethel Woods.
The county is offering tour bus trips to visit the Woodstock monument. Buses will depart from the Monticello Raceway and 4296 State Route 55, Bethel. Parking and access to the buses are free but are first-come first-serve only.
Local radio stations will offer traffic updates throughout the weekend. So check for information, make plans and stay safe.

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