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“So Many Roads” was a whole Fourth of July weekend of music in Parksville, NY dedicated to one band, the Grateful Dead, in the same county that hosted the legendary Woodstock Music Festival, in the year of its 50th anniversary. The band formed only four years before the iconic gathering of 1969—already making waves, but not yet attracting the hordes of people that would later follow them around, forming communities and caravans, for the next three decades.
Jerry Garcia, legendary front man of the Dead, only lived for a few years after I was born. As I walked around and spoke to people who shared nothing but kind words and memories, I was reminded of how powerful the Grateful Dead’s legacy is—arguably unmatched by any other group. The joy echoes among crowds 24 years after their last set, the anniversary of which happened on Tuesday, July 9. It fills fields with people grinning from ear to ear and hooking people like me, who never got a chance to see the real deal, into the long, strange trip that just keeps going.