Dan Hust | Democrat
What appeared to be a covered stage popped up amidst a sea of tents near the intersection of Route 17B and Dr. Duggan Road in Bethel. All through the weekend, an enormous crowd travelled back and forth between this property and the famous Hector’s Inn across Duggan Road for music, fun and renewed friendships.
Bethel calls them home
Story by Dan Hust
BETHEL August 20, 2013 Woodstock’s 44th anniversary swept over Bethel with nary a serious incident but plenty of partying.
“I spoke to some of our supervisors here in the Sheriff’s Office, and they said everyone was extremely well-behaved,” Undersheriff Eric Chaboty related yesterday. “It was truly a weekend of peace and love.”
In a town known for its love-hate relationship with the iconic ’69 music festival, Bethel’s leader affirmed he’d love to see more weekends like this one.
“I thought it was a fabulous weekend, and I am not kidding,” Bethel Supervisor Dan Sturm said yesterday.
“We had no major accidents, everyone was busy I couldn’t be more pleased!”
One noise complaint was resolved, Sturm said, and the town’s Building Department is looking into the possibility that a gathering along Dr. Duggan Road may have exceeded its permitted camping capacity.
But up Route 17B at Max Yasgur’s former homestead, Bethel’s usual Woodstock “reunion” flashpoint was instead a tribute to the late Roy Howard welcomed by the town, even being advertised on its Facebook page.
“We didn’t notice any problems [there],” Sturm said. “I hope they had a profitable weekend and a peaceful reunion.”
“People who have come here for years, who only want to bring the best to the Town of Bethel, pulled it off,” Howard’s widow, Jeryl Abramson, explained as she toured a forest full of (what else?) peace, love and music.
“They only wanted to come home.”
Though still fighting with the town in a malicious prosecution case, Abramson said she plans to again seek the needed permits to next year host what will likely be called the second Annual Roy Howard Memorial Reunion.
Counting that event, the various gatherings on Dr. Duggan Road, and the concerts and Richie Havens tribute at Bethel Woods, it’s a fair estimate that between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors came specifically to Bethel this past weekend.