It was hot, but the sun was shining — unlike in previous years — and thousands found their way downtown in what organizers say is the best turnout yet for the award-winning Roots and Rhythm festival.


 It was hot, but the sun was shining — unlike in previous years — and thousands found their way downtown in what organizers say is the best turnout yet for the award-winning Roots and Rhythm festival.

Brian Fulp, chairman of this year’s festival, said after six years, the team responsible for pulling the event together is getting good at what they do.

In fact, Fulp said, they’re getting so good that others are beginning to take notice.
Right before the event kicked off Friday night with a party at Rusty Palmer’s, the group was recognized by the Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania (PROP) with their Waste Watchers award.

One of many awards handed out yearly by the group, the award recognizes Roots and Rhythm (R&R) for having gone above and beyond what is expected or usually done in terms of waste management during their 2010 festival.

The award, explained R&R Recycling Committee co-chair Cheryl Badner — who heads the new committee with her husband Stuart — comes in response to R&R’s efforts to make the festival as green as possible; efforts best exemplified this year by volunteers picking through every bag of trash generated during the event to remove recyclables.

“Last year we were there until around 2 a.m. sorting recyclables,” Badner said, “But this year it only took until 12:40 a.m.”

Volunteers filled an 8 yard single stream recycling container to capacity through their efforts, she said.

Sustainability and “being green” have always been key principles of Roots and Rhythm, said Brian Fulp who says his organizing group has even bigger things in mind for next year.

“We’ve got a monster diesel generator that we rent,” Fulp said, “It costs us $3,500 a year. It makes a lot of noise and it blows clouds of black smoke, though; so we’re working hard to raise money to install electricity in the park that everyone will be able to use.”

The project will cost around $10,000, Fulp said. R&R plans to host a number of fundraisers to pay for the work, but he says some of the money is already on hand, thanks to the “huge” success they’ve had in the runup to this year’s festival.

“Honesdale should be proud of this festival,” Fulp said, “We had people here from as far away as Connecticut, making this our most successful year so far. The weather cooperated with us, the food and the music were great and we had fun family activities all over town.”

Next year, he said, will be more of the same, with a few surprises thrown in along the way for an event that has brought more people to Honesdale’s central park than any other single day of the year.