CROTON-ON-HUDSON - Close to 25,000 people gathered over the weekend for the first-ever Clearwater Festival without founder Pete Seeger.

Well-known musicians paid a special tribute to Seegar, a Beacon resident who died in January, and his wife Toshi, who died in July 2013. "Pete and T. both have passed away in the last year, so this year we are honoring their legacy across the seven stages throughout the festival," says festival director Steve Lurie.

Some of the headliners included Lucinda Williams, Rufus Wainwright and Norah Jones. In a lyric of a song he wrote for the occasion, Harry Chapin sang it's up to other folk artists to "pass on the music" as Seeger intended.

Seeger began hosting folk picnics in the 1960s in Croton-on-Hudson to build a boat that would travel on the Hudson to highlight environmental issues.

AP wires were used in this report.