Porchfest will bring a festival to Oakhurst’s front doors
When a streetscape project scuttled plans for Oakhurst’s annual Arts and Music Festival, one resident came up with an alternative.
Scott Doyon has a friend in Ithaca, N.Y. who told him about an event there called Porchfest. Instead of a traditional festival where multiple bands play at a specific venue, a Porchfest involves several different bands setting up on residents’ porches.
Doyon said, “The way he described it, my immediate thought was, ‘This would be a terrific event in Oakhurst. I ought to do that.'”
So he did. He reached out to Angie Macon, Executive Director of the Decatur Arts Alliance, and Decatur Metro, a community blog. Soon after putting the word out, Doyon received an overwhelming response. He said Ithaca’s Porchfest had 25 to 27 porches to start.
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“We’re at 36 porches, so it’s clearly touching some kind of a nerve,” he said. “People seem pretty excited about it. That gets me excited. I’d set my expectations kind of low.”
Macon says she’s serving as a liaison between the city and the event, making sure the music is respectful of nearby neighbors and providing posters and maps. There will be no cost to attend, she said. The event will be held Sunday, October 18 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
She said the event will not require permitting, but police have been notified about the potential for increased traffic.
“We hope that it will be ongoing,” Macon said. “We will take it and see what happens and go from there. We’re just putting it out there and seeing what’s going to happen. I hope it works out. It has been well received so far. I hope it will become a yearly event.”
Macon says as far as she knows, Oakhurst’s Porchfest would be the first event of its kind in Georgia.
“Oakhurst is a great neighborhood to do it in,” she said. “If you keep it within a one mile radius of Harmony Park you’re not running into any large streets. It’s very well self-contained.”
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