Celebrating the 24th year of Grassroots

By Caroline Goggin

July 17, 2014 Updated Jul 17, 2014 at 7:00 PM EDT

Trumansburg, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Thousands made their way to the Finger Lakes Grassroots Festival of Music and Dance Thursday.

Attendees can enjoy music, food, crafts and all sorts of entertainment during the four day event.

The Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg is in its 24th year, and many said it would not be possible without the help of volunteers.

"Volunteers do everything," said volunteer of 17 years, Caleb Church. "We couldn't make this festival happen without volunteers.

The 1,300 volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, including a woman who dresses and performs as a statue.

"I've been working since 2011 after a visit to the fringe festival in Edinboro," said living statue Lecil James. "I was inspired by this guy who sat on a park bench and had a plate of french fries."

The street performer was intrigued by the man and has used herself as art ever since.

Other forms of volunteering come from the 70 bands that will perform throughout the weekend. Not to mention the endless food vendors that line the streets and serve the crowd.

"And I know we have great, nuturing food. And that people love our food here," said worker at Outback Kates Peggy Melbourne.

"It's all homemade... it's all made from scratch and it's top-of-the-line ingredients," said another worker at Outback Kates, Casey Collins. "So we take pride in that."

With thousands of visitors, cleanup is needed.

Compost volunteers work the event, cleaning the ground and the leftovers. They work with three goals in mind.

"First role is to service the vendors," said Compost Director Ari Minor. "So we take their pre-consumer compost, kitchen scraps essentially. Second role is were going to take these trash stations that you see all around the festival. We're servicing the compost bin at all of those."

The third role is to educate the community about ways to keep the earth clean.

The festival runs until Sunday, July 20. Tickets are available here.

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