Porch Fest

Local musicians will take to the porches and front yards of homes in the Garden District as part of the neighborhood’s annual Porch Fest event.

Folks from all over Tucson can enjoy a free, family-oriented, neighborhood event with live music and food trucks at the Garden District Porch Fest, this Sunday, Oct. 30.

“It’s literally strangers dancing in the street with strangers and singing old Beatles songs,” said Garden District Neighborhood Association secretary Meg Johnson. “We have eight residents who volunteered their porches and bands will be playing for an hour-and-a-half each.”

Armory Park residents Janet Miller and Kimi Eisele started the Tucson Porch Fest movement in 2013, drawing inspiration from a similar trend happening across the country in Sommerville, New York.

Members of the Garden District Neighborhood Association drew inspiration from Miller and Eisele and decided to put on their own Porch Fest in 2014.

The porches in this year’s Garden District Porch Fest can be found north of East Pima Street and east of North Alvernon Way. Attendees are encouraged to hit the porch at 4109 E. Pima St. first and go from there. A detailed map can be found on Garden District Neighborhood Association’s website, in addition to a schedule of the live music which runs 2:30-5 p.m.

The Garden District Neighborhood Association organizes numerous community driven events each year, raising money for schools, green infrastructure, and other worthy causes.

This year’s Porch Fest will have several food trucks and carts, including La Michoacana PaletasBanhdicted and Tita Tita.

According to the Garden District website, the event will feature a variety of live music ranging from “grassy country swing” to “hopeful melancholy Americana.”

“When organizing a Porch Fest, you have to have porches close enough that people will walk to them, but not so close that one band overrides another,” Johnson said.

The Porch Fest will feature a dedicated “kid’s porch” for little ones who want to enjoy “Mr. Nature’s Interactive Music Hour,” taking place from 3 to 5 p.m. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

“The bands play for the love of music,” Johnson said. “We do not pay them. We try to get people to tip.”

The Garden District website suggests that patrons come to the show equipped with walking shoes, cash to tip musicians and food trucks, a water bottle and a chair or blanket. Bikes are welcome at the event, as are wagons and strollers. High-speed, engine-powered vehicles are discouraged. This is not a car event.

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