Community Coalition for Healthy Youth  

July 2011 message

Keeping Summer Festivals Safe for Kids


In July, a Sticker Shock campaign in Trumansburg, coinciding with the annual GrassRoots Festival, will remind the community:


It’s Not Your Call-It’s the Law! It is illegal to buy or provide alcohol for anyone under 21.  


Festivals like GrassRoots, the State Fair, or even backyard parties, appeal to many youth.  For most who attend, these festivals can be a fun and exciting experience.  But they are not without temptation and the opportunity for risky behavior including using alcohol and then driving, engaging in sexual behavior, or participating in other dangerous activities while under the influence.


Parents can use occasions like these to remind and teach teens about planning ahead to support responsible choices. 


When is a teen old enough to go with friends? That's up to you and your judgment on how responsible you know your child to be. The best advice: go to festivals with your teen.  Ticket prices may seem expensive, but your presence in your teen’s life is invaluable.  If cost is a factor, you may be able to get in free by working as a volunteer. 


The answer to “Can I go?” shouldn't be a quick “yes” or “no,” but rather an opportunity to talk about the importance of avoiding alcohol and drug use and thinking together about what is required for responsible independence.


If you decide your teen can go without you, agree ahead of time how late he or she can stay.  Keep in touch through calls and texting.  Discuss who will drive and what your teen will do if the driver is not sober.  Offer to pick him or her up at any time. 


Whether you allow your children to go to GrassRoots or other festivals or parties is up to you. The most important thing is to talk with your teen about making healthy and safe choices, in this and in all situations.



Thank you for all you do!


The Community Coalition for Healthy Youth