Porchfest Will Again Bring Music to Napa’s Streets
Neighborhoods Become the Stage at 7th Annual Event on Sunday, July 30
For the seventh consecutive year, porches around Napa will be transformed into mini, live music stages at Napa’s Seventh Annual Porchfest, a free event set for Sunday, July 30 from 12 noon to 6 p.m. New this year, is that the “main hub” of the event has been moved to Fuller Park which provides natural shade, established picnic tables, restrooms, multiple porches surrounding the park, and space for a large food truck round-up (maps and t-shirts will be available too).
One thing that hasn’t changed, is that Porchfest has sustained and dramatically grown, because of the let’s get out and do it vibe of the day.
Napa Porchfest was founded in 2011. It began as a Facebook conversation in January of 2011, when then-local Louisa Hufstader posted a link to a Porchfest event in Somerville, Massachusetts. The idea that it could also happen here immediately became a reality. According to Co-Founder Juliana Inman, Napa’s Porchfest was the first west of the Mississippi, the very first outpost out on the West Coast.
The purpose of Porchfest is to increase both appreciation and awareness of local performing arts and of Napa’s historical neighborhoods. While the sponsoring “beneficiary” of Porchfest is Napa County Landmarks, the benefit is not monetary. “The event benefits Napa County Landmarks by raising awareness of, and appreciation for, our historic neighborhoods. All the Landmarks board members volunteer for the event because it is so much fun. The event also helps build membership for the organization, and appreciation of its mission to preserve historic sites and neighborhoods throughout Napa County,” Inman said last year.
Dozens of local bands will perform on porches, and sometimes out into the yards, of many of the most charming, picturesque and grand old homes throughout historic Downtown Napa neighborhoods. Because so many of the neighborhoods are relatively close, or within a short distance, Porchfest naturally encourages attendees to get out and enjoy the day by either walking or bicycling through town to experience the music as well as a fresh perspective of the beautiful neighborhoods.
I attended the Napa Porchfest for the first time last year. Unsure of what to expect, I was curious about the format, and the experience, which for me included enjoying walks through historic neighborhoods, running into other locals literally on every street, really stopping to take a look at the antique homes, appreciating a vast array of music, and enjoying some only-in-Napa gourmet food truck cuisine. It was simply a blast! While attending, you can stay in one location and set up low chairs and blankets, or bicycle or walk to other venues and neighborhoods. One attendee last year had actually created a motorized living room recliner in which I spotted him buzzing around!
The participating bands and musicians have been planning for several months. Many use the same porch, and the homeowners like to have the same band there too. “We have a lot of the bands that sign up for specific porches,” Inman explained. “It’s just fun for a lot of people. There are so many musicians who play in organized groups. It’s fun for them, the community and for their friends and family to come see them play. A lot of the musicians have other jobs, winemakers, teachers, dentists, contractors.”
A wide range of music will be performed including genres such as Bluegrass, Jazz, Rock, Classical, Alternative, R&B, Funk, Reggae, Latin, Americana, Pop, Country, Blues, Hawaiian, Irish, Celtic, African Folk, Gospel, Reggae, Indie Folk and Classic Rock.
It is important to note that the Napa’s Porchfest is completely a volunteer event. Inman said that, “People really enjoy it and like the whole vibe, there are bands and groups that take off. Everyone contributes their time, no one gets paid. They have their tips jars out, but they don’t get paid for performing. Some bands and groups have become popular because of the exposure they have had over the years.”
Porchfest is an easy, family-friendly, community-boosting event. Because it’s not monetized, tickets are not needed. Just show up! For more information visit NapaPorchfest.org