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Roots and Rhythm festival returns to Wayne County

An annual summer tradition is back in Honesdale after a two-year break during the pandemic.

HONESDALE, Pa. — Watching the grandkids play and enjoy some live music, Mike Kraft from Milford would call it the perfect Father's Day gift. 

"This is great. It's free. It's out in the park. The kids can burn up some energy," said Mike Kraft, Milford.

A day and night full of live music, vendors, and hanging out in Honesdale's Central Park, that's what's on the menu for the annual Roots & Rhythm festival. 

"It smells like a fair here. And it's just a good old time," said Dan Fenkner, Honesdale.

Honesdale native Adriana Nell made the trip back home from Salt Lake City with her daughter. 

It's a familiar place, but one of her favorite parts of her hometown visit was seeing new faces.

"It's so nice, you don't have to wear your mask and stuff, and you can just talk to people and get to know all sorts of people. They're just having a ball, everybody's playing music, and having fun and everything," said Adriana Nell, Honesdale native.

This is the arts and music festival's 15th year. 

But after a two-year break, the organizers had to shake the dust off a bit.

"It's a little crazy. I gave the welcome speech, and I said, 'everybody be kind'. It has been two years since we've been back, so we're kind of getting into the flow of things. Everyone is very excited to be here and very excited to have the live music again. So overall, excitement is the vibe today," said Kelsey Kohrs, organizer. 

One thing they didn't expect for this June afternoon..was the need for tents and blankets.

"Just blocking the weather for the babies and stuff," said Wayne Barnum.

"Sweatshirts are selling out. It was nice this morning, now it's kind of windy. But at least it's better than rain," said Kohrs.

And what better way to warm up than with a warm, homemade donut.

Vendors like the ones in attendance Saturday were more than content with the crowd.

"For Honesdale and Wayne County, it brings a lot of people to our town, our small community, and supports a lot of the small local businesses. Without these people, a lot of people wouldn't be able to do what we're doing today," said Jalenna Gibbs.

The festival runs through midnight.

Check out WNEP’s YouTube channel.  

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