On a sunny Sunday at the end of July, a thousand people gathered on the banks of the New River in Fries to enjoy live music, great food, sunshine and interesting things to see, do and buy. For the third year, Grayson LandCare organized this festival to bring all parts of the community together to appreciate the beauty of our community and the diversity of its residents.
Thanks to the generosity of local businesses who agreed to be sponsors, admission was kept free so that whole families could join in the fun. We were blessed with fantastic weather, and it seemed that everyone had a good time. I was amused and gratified to see the Planet Chopper motorcycle guys next to the Quilt Guild ladies and the kids’ activity tent; to see people of all ages cooling off in the river, to see people on walkers and in wheelchairs enjoying the day. Grayson LandCare Rocks the River is for everyone and Grayson County is for everyone. This is what community is about, and we hope in some small way we strengthen the bonds of neighborliness through this annual event.
Grayson LandCare incorporated as a non-profit in 2007 to give area residents a way to organize themselves and work together to preserve our natural environment, to help people find ways to make a living here, and to support and improve our quality of life. We share the challenges that all rural counties face, and large scale programs by governments or foundations sometimes miss the mark when applied to a particular location. “LandCare” is a philosophy that the people who live on the land know best how to take care of it and make life better for themselves and their neighbors. We provide a non-profit structure where great ideas like the Independence Farmers’ Market, the Land Stewardship Contest, and the Free Market can develop and flourish. Our monthly meetings are friendly gatherings with guest speakers where people can meet others and find common interests. For those who want to test out an idea, it is a place to have a thoughtful discussion and get feedback. We encourage people to think creatively about how to make Grayson County better for everyone and to contribute their unique experience, skills, and ideas.
If you would like to participate in planning and carrying out next year’s festival, or if you have feedback or suggestions to make our county better, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President, Grayson LandCare