Porchfest Bordentown

(Facebook Illustration/MKRts and Crafts.)

Leon Stanley thinks that after the pandemic that plagued our society into isolation for the past two years, it was about time to come back together.

What could be more inviting than a day filled with music, food trucks and shopping in Bordentown’s welcoming community?

The first ever PorchFest will be a free event scheduled to be held on Saturday, April 30 from noon to 5 p.m., rain or shine. The event, a production of Bordentown Arts, will feature different types of musicians, who will be playing on their front porches or on the porches of other residents throughout the city. There will be a large variety of musical genres featured, from jazz to folk to rock.

Musical talent showcased will include younger folks, such as high schoolers, and others as old as 70. Anyone, regardless of whether they are local or regional is welcome to participate, whether they want to perform or feature their porch for another musician.

“I’m aware of other PorchFest in other parts of the state and always thought it looked like a cool and interesting idea and when I heard Bordentown was having one I was very excited and I decided right away I was going to apply to host and play. For me, this is like a holiday because when you play in a band you meet a lot of other musicians and you make a lot of friends who are also musicians,” said Jaime Parker, a musician a member of the band Alpha Rabbit. The Bordentown resident is planning to be a part of PorchFest this year.

The Downtown Bordentown Association will also be hosting an event, known as Stepping into Spring, on the same day. PorchFest will go hand in hand with this event, inviting attendees who are walking around on their way to or from PorchFest to stop by at one of the food trucks on Farnsworth Avenue and grab a bite to eat.

Local retailers may also be open with stands along the streets to allow people to potentially buy some of the things they sell within their stores. Many specific details of PorchFest were still being ironed out at press time.

Stanley is president of Bordentown Arts, the nonprofit organization that is responsible for PorchFest. He welcomes those from out of town to come and check out how Bordentown does things, and assures everyone that this event is family-friendly.

PorchFest is billed to be a fun-filled day where those taking part will get to showcase their musical talents and get their music out there, but also a chance for them to get to do what they love. None of the performers who are taking part are getting paid, but volunteered themselves.

“It doesn’t surprise me that we have a lot of musical talent in this town, and this is one of the things that motivated me to organize this,” Stanley said.

To make the event navigable for those who are not familiar with the way Bordentown is laid out, Stanley is planning to create a map which lays out what type of musicians are playing, and where they will be at certain times.

“This is going to be a pretty festive day in Bordentown City,” Stanley said.

Stanley hopes that this event is one that those from near and far come to for some fun amongst the sunshine, fresh air, and new and old friends and family. He truly believes that PorchFest will have a little something for everyone who attends.

“PorchFest is an initiative that I feel would be good for Bordentown Arts to do, and it would bring a lot of arts and culture to the city,” Stanley said. He hopes that Bordentown will make this event something annual.

PorchFest is all about, “community goodwill that is created with neighbors being out amongst neighbors and the town enjoying themselves. I think after the past two years, we deserve it,” he said.

This event is taking place in hope that people will come to just have a good time, and for Bordentown residents it helps them to get to know their neighbors and local community.

“It’s important to support our local arts scene and our local artists, and it’s important to get to know your neighbors. I feel like as a community we become stronger when we get to know each other and when we get to know each other through music and by sharing our talents and passions, we become a more vibrant and stronger community,” Parker said.

The first ever PorchFest was held in 2007 in Ithaca, New York. Since then, hundreds of towns across the country have taken part in this unique event and have adapted it for their own communities.

Stanley also became one of these people and wanted to bring this event to his very own city. He expressed that he had no idea that something like this existed and had been hiding right under his nose, but he is so happy he discovered it.

Bordentown City Mayor Jennifer Sciortino said she is hearing considerable buzz from residents who are excited to experience PorchFest.

“Kudos to Bordentown Arts for organizing this unique event that brings neighbors together, attracts visitors, and showcases the sense of community that Bordentown is known for,” she said.

Stanley offered a special thanks to Schino Property Management in Bordentown, for sponsoring this event. Those walking around town on April 30 should also be on the lookout for personalized PorchFest signs, which were artistically created by one of Bordentown’s local businesses, Leaping Dog Art Studios.

He also said to be on the lookout for PorchFest shirts which will also be sold in honor of the event, and some of the proceeds from sales will be donated to St. Mary’s Food Pantry.

Anyone in Bordentown can volunteer their porch — or front yard — as a potential venue for PorchFest. Applications are available on the Bordentown Arts website, bordentownarts.com.

Bordentown Arts is also still welcoming musical performers to register to take part in the event. That application form is also on the website.

Prospective hosts may also be able to select which musical act will be matched up with their porch, but both host and musicians are asked to sign up at the site.

Bordentown Arts will be asking hosts and performers to keep the music to a “reasonable” volume and to be sure that festgoers mind the neighbors’ yards.

Recommended for you