The most famous thing in the Hudson Valley in the last 100 years probably was the three-day music festival and love-in simply known as Woodstock. More than a half-million people came to visit, hang out, listen to rock stars including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Richie Havens, and party.
Next year, 2009, is the 40th anniversary of that legendary concert, and the town of Bethel is getting ahead of the celebration by opening a new museum that memorializes the entire decade of the Sixties, not just the 1969 Woodstock whatever-it-was.
It was the Age of Aquarius, psychedelic clothing and drugs, an unpopular war in Vietnam, and the civil rights movement. During The Sixties, we cried over the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, and glowed with pride when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.
It's all there, in the Museum at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. The museum is part of a $100 million center with a 15,000 seat outdoor performance space, at the site of that huge field on Max Yasgur's farm where the Woodstock festival took place.
But, it will surely become known as the Woodstock Museum. Take a trip back to the Sixties, including a 21-minute clip of the music festival, plus clips of other news events, the fashions, the politics, and the emergence of a new group of musicians from England. The Beatles.
The Woodstock museum -- Just one more reason to visit the Hudson Valley.