ATTENDEES DEPART MOUNT VISION AREA
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
MOUNT VISION – State police arrived at the 23rd annual NY Harvest Fest & Freedom Fair/Political Rally at 2 p.m. today looking to “serve an arrest warrant,” according to a security officer who identified himself as proprietor of N.E.S. Solutions, Providence, R.I.
He said N.E.S. has provided security at the event for the past nine years.
“It’s always been a freedom rally,” said the security chief, “rallying for legalization of marijuana.”
The troopers remained until 4:30, but when they found the individual they were seeking, he was no longer the “land leasee.”
Publicity for the event identified the location as the Knarick Family Farm, “an organic hemp farm” about three miles north of Mount Vision on Route 15. This year, the event was labeled “political rally,” as it was in 2016, the last presidential year.
The Knarick Farm house and barns are on Route 15, but the event is about 1.4-mile up the hill behind the buildings.
By 5:30, a steady stream of cars and SUVs was departing the event, which was scheduled Oct. 9-11, but a far hillside was still packed with campers and tents. “Thanks for coming,” the security chief called out. “Drive safely.”
Due to concerns about the crowd and lack of COVID-19 prevention measures, county Public Health Director Heidi Bond Saturday warned the public to stay away, particularly since the crowd far exceeded a gathering of up to 50 people, the limit set in Governor Cuomo’s emergency orders.
She also said she had alerted state police about the possible violations.
In the Saturday press release, Bond said citations were being issued – perhaps those troopers were seeking to deliver this afternoon – for violations of public health law, as well as executive orders. The “leasee” could face a fine up to $15,000, and individuals not wearing masks, $1,000.
Other then the security guards, no police presence was evident, although troopers had made a traffic stop on Route 15, and a sheriff’s cruiser passed through the lightly populated rural section of the county.