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Woodstock Festival monument.

Woodstock Festival Monument

Field review by the editors.

Bethel, New York

Wayne Saward was 12 when the Woodstock music festival arrived in his hometown in August 1969: 400,000 hippies gathered in a sea of mud, music, and drugs for three days. He wanted to go, but his older brother wouldn't take him.


Years later a small group of people began camping and partying at the Woodstock site every August to remember the event. Wayne was one of them. He was now a welder, and he decided that Woodstock needed a monument. With cast iron and concrete, he built one that weighed 5.5 tons. It incorporated a historical marker paid for by the property owners, and was completed for Woodstock's 15th anniversary in 1984.

The monument sits on the rim of the natural amphitheater that formed the Woodstock site, overlooking the stage area to the left and sweeping right across the slope where the hippies danced and played. Like Dealey Plaza, Woodstock has been preserved as it was when it had its moment in history. The two sites form neat bookends to a messy decade.

Wayne would return every August and fix pieces of the monument that had been chipped off by fans over the previous year. When the official Woodstock Festival Museum opened just up the road in June 2008, its gift shop offered a better outlet for souvenir-hunters, and the additional traffic brought respectability and security to the monument.

Wayne, his work done, died in March 2009.

Woodstock Festival Monument

236 Hurd Rd, Bethel, NY
On Hwy 17B, north side, five miles east of Fosterdale, or ten miles west of Hwy 17 exit 104. Turn north onto Hurd Rd for one mile. Turn right onto W. Shore Rd. You'll see the small parking lot for the monument immediately on the right.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Official Woodstock Rock Festival MuseumOfficial Woodstock Rock Festival Museum, Bethel, NY - < 1 mi.
Hippie Muffler ManHippie Muffler Man, Bethel, NY - 2 mi.
Tiny Stone Castle of Swan LakeTiny Stone Castle of Swan Lake, Swan Lake, NY - 6 mi.
In the region:
Motorcyclepedia, Newburgh, NY - 46 mi.

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