Saugerties’ Hope Rocks Festival takes aim at addiction, suicide

Mike Farris (photo by Sebastian Smith)

“The problem of addiction and suicide continues to grow – and so does the need for Hope Rocks,” says Hope Rocks festival founder Joseph Defino, a Saugerties resident and elementary school teacher. Defino founded Hope Rocks after witnessing 13 of his former students die from suicide stemming from addiction and despair in a period of just four years. “We need to further educate, treat and recognize the loss of hope endemic to addiction.” The second annual Hope Rocks Festival to Help Battle Addiction, Depression and Suicide is scheduled for August 18 and 19 at Saugerties’ Cantine Field.

Free and open to all, Hope Rocks offers on-site counseling, speakers presenting their personal addiction experiences and a myriad of activities, including approximately 30 live musical performances, including Mike Farris, Babe Patrol and Wild Adriatic, across multiple stages, a motorcade, softball, volleyball, basketball, tennis, pickleball, human foosball, an art exhibition and crafters. New to the 2018 festival are a walk- and bike-athon, children’s area, petting zoo and tee-shirt design contest. For more information, visit Cantine Field is located on Pavilion Street in Saugerties.