SHERIDAN – This weekend Rooted in Wyoming will hold its first music festival to promote and raise money for garden projects in the area.
Rooted’s Good Old Fashioned Hoedown is June 24 from 12-5 p.m. at the Quarterman Farm. Guests should bring their own chairs and blankets as well as sunscreen and bug repellant. Rooted Executive Director Bonnie Gregory said the event will have food and farmers market style vendors as well as games like slip n’ slide kickball, sack races and boat races. She said multiple vendors are donating a portion of their sales to Rooted.
The event will also feature live music from The Wyoming Band, Mark Paninos and Friends, Ann and Andy Lowe and Ethan Chartier.
Cooper Quarterman, whose father owns the ranch and is donating the space, will also be donating his time playing with the entertainment. Quarterman said he found out about Rooted and the group’s efforts a few months ago through Meadowlark Elementary library media tech, Ian Wallace.
He said the two of them started to brainstorm ideas about how to raise awareness and decided that with a space like the Quarterman Farm, they should just throw a party.
“So now hopefully it’ll expand and they can buy a curriculum where gardening becomes a class even,” Quarterman said. “And so if I can be any part of that happening that would be a big accomplishment actually I feel.”
Gregory said the proceeds will go toward the community gardens as well as another goal of being able to pay someone to work for Rooted. Right now, she said, she’s the only staff member and she as well as her board are all volunteer, putting in long hours.
“It’s amazing how much time these projects take,” Gregory said. “And I think the week before last I had 40 hours in for Rooted in Wyoming by Wednesday.”
Gregory said she sees her efforts as a catalyst, and would like to eventually be a board member, volunteering time, and have money in the nonprofit’s general fund to pay someone to do administrative work.
Saturday’s event is Rooted’s first music festival. While Quarterman said it’s too soon to tell if it’ll become an annual event, he said it is a possibility. Gregory also said she hopes the hoedown won’t just be a one-time event.
“I think they’re very committed to our community,” Gregory said about the Quarterman family. “(Cooper Quarterman’s) one of those guys who knows the importance of knowing where your food comes from and getting kids in the dirt, and so I’m hopeful it’ll be an annual thing.”
Quarterman said he has had a growing interest in edible landscaping and permaculture for more than a decade and felt moved to offer his support.
“There are very practical reasons for our society to make a shift toward self-sufficiency and healthier habits,” Quarterman said. “…I know this trend will continue growing because gardening is contagious. The more I do it, the more my friends and community do it; we can only teach by being a good example.”