Sullivan County is a county located in the state of New York. As of the 2016 census, the population was 74,801. The county seat is Monticello. The county’s name is in honor of Major General John Sullivan, who was a hero in the American Revolutionary War.
Sullivan County has been a popular vacation spot since the 19th Century, with mountain climbing, boating, and other outdoor activities, and the Monticello Raceway being among the attractions. The majority of the tourism occurs in the summer months. It was the site of the hundreds of resort complexes of the Borscht Belt (with their golf courses, social events, and entertainers), between the 1920s and 1970s. It was the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival.
Many famous comedians tested their material and performed regularly at Borscht Belt hotels, including Milton Berle, Mel Brooks and Henny Youngman. Eddie Fisher performed often at Grossinger’s, where in 1955 he married Debbie Reynolds.
During the period August 15–18, 1969, some 500,000 people gathered in Sullivan County’s Town of Bethel at Max Yasgur’s farm to attend the Woodstock Festival. The entertainers included The Who; the Grateful Dead; Jefferson Airplane; The Band; Canned Heat; Joan Baez; Arlo Guthrie; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Janis Joplin; Santana; Sly and the Family Stone; Blood, Sweat and Tears; Jimi Hendrix; and Richie Havens.
Other notable cultural destinations include the CAS Arts Center, a multi-arts exhibit space and education center run by the Catskill Art Society in Livingston Manor, New York, and the NaCl Theatre, a professional regional theatre company focusing on experimental work in Highland Lake, New York.