Beacon Riverfest - Dallas News |

Hudson River Valley music festival

Beacon Riverfest

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Originally from Brooklyn, Stephen Clair, a singer and guitarist, now lives in Beacon, N.Y., a town of about 16,000 people along the Hudson River.

Clair started what's called the Beacon Riverfest. At first, it was just a couple of his friends jamming in the park. Now, it's as much a part of the town as the century-old brick buildings.

Clair said the festival has grown every year and has grown even more this year, with bands playing music ranging from rock to folk, world music and bluegrass.

There's Hollis Brown from New York City and folk rock from Tracy Bonham. Some may remember her hit "Mother Mother." Now Tracy is a mother. She'll perform in the family tent, one of the festival's three stages.

The festival attracts folks not only the Hudson Valley, but the tristate. It's only a 75-minute train ride from Grand Central Terminal. The park is right across from the Metro-North train station.

The festival is free. Local sponsors help with costs. Local folks with the set up and clean up, like George Mansfield, who co-owns the Dogwood Bar in Beacon and is on the town's council. He said things happened organically on the community.

Organic is definitely the key word with the Beacon Riverfest. You won't see a commercial beer tent or chain store. It's all about local food and local vendors.

Before we got to watch Stephen's band rehearse, I got to play around a bit on the drums. I couldn't resist. After all, I was a drummer before i became a reporter. I wish I could play in the festival. (Maybe next year.)

But the Stephen Clair Band will be there.

The festival is on Saturday, June 29, 2013.

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