Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

On Porches of Springfield; Community Invited to Enjoy Diverse Music at a Family-Friendly PorchFest

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

On Porches of Springfield; Community Invited to Enjoy Diverse Music at a Family-Friendly PorchFest

Article excerpt

Byline: David Crumpler

Jacksonville PorchFest invites you to Springfield to walk, look and listen.

The music festival and celebration of architecture involves 15 front porches along a route on the east side of Main Street.

You are the roving audience that strolls from porch to porch, stopping on the sidewalk or lawn to hear local musicians play everything from reggae and salsa to bluegrass and country to classical and pop.

While doing so, you're also encouraged to take in the architectural styles reflected in the porches featured on the route.

In the process, organizers hope you'll get a sense of the friendly front-porch living that can be found in a neighborhood like Springfield.

Jacksonville PorchFest is from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. A total of 20 musical acts are scheduled to perform. Food trucks and vendors open for business at noon, and the music performances begin at 1 p.m.

The free event takes place in Springfield's southeast quadrant, east of Main Street and west of Liberty between First and Fifth streets. Parking will be available at a number of empty lots along Main Street.

Maps of porches will be provided at the corner of Third and Main streets.

"We've tried to have a fairly compact route that's easily walkable," said Christina Parrish, a Springfield Preservation and Revitalization board member and the chief organizer of the event.

As the name indicates, the festival's invitation extends citywide, she said. It's not just a Springfield block party.

"It's family-friendly, with some kind of music for everyone," Parrish said. "We see this as a fun event for the neighborhood, and for folks who haven't spent some time in Springfield to do so."

The porchfest concept was introduced in Ithaca, N.Y., in 2007. Typically held in pedestrian-friendly, historic urban neighborhoods where front porches are common, porchfests can now be found in more than 20 communities around the nation.

"They are the perfect blend of arts and community," said Ortega resident Elizabeth Augustus, who had read about the porchfest in her hometown of Buffalo, N. …

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