Sit A While: PorchFest is Back to Jacksonville’s Springfield Neighborhood

Four years ago, with its renaissance in full swing, the Springfield Preservation and Revitalization Committee created a walk-able event to showcase the historic neighborhood with live music playing from the porches of the area’s “Grand Old Ladies.” The first annual PorchFest was a success, drawing an estimated 4,000 visitors into the Springfield community.

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Now in its fourth year, the Jacksonville PorchFest is bigger and better than ever. The free, family-friendly event is held from noon to 9 pm Saturday on many of the inviting porches in the historic neighborhood. PorchFest begins and ends in beautiful Klutho Park, with a main stage performance from headliner Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys closing out the night at the historic bandstand.

More than 30 local and regional artists will perform throughout the day including Firewater Tent Revival, Mama Blue, Kim Retiguez & the Black Cat Bones, Parker Urban Band, the Chris Thomas Band, Junco Royals, Universal Green, The Ellameno Beat, Caint Never Could, Groove Coalition, The Young Step, Folk is People, The Broomestix, Beau & the Burners, Catch the Groove, the 770s, Mal Jones & Black on Black Rhyme, Tropic of Cancer, Oh Great Sea, Jacksonville Old Time Jam, Swing Bones Dixie, Redneck Hummus, Mike Shackelford & Steve Shanholtzer, The Duffy Bishop Band and more.

The Apex Musical Theatre, Douglas Anderson Guitar Ensemble and Al Poindexter & the Springfield Open Mic will also add to the experience. Stroll from porch to porch, bring a blanket and a lawn chair and enjoy the Fall weather with performances in both the southwest and southeast quadrants of the event area. A variety of food trucks, craft beer and arts vendors will be available along the way.

Vendors include Balu’s Surf Shack, The Conch Shell, Delish Kebabs, Big Island Bowls, Twisted Okie, Bold City Pops, Guanabana, Wrap it Up, LaVita Cuisine, Mr. Potato Spread, Marivic’s Flavor, Flour and Fig Bakehouse, Eddis and Sons, Chunky Tomato, Son of a Butcher, Hapa Li, Pele’s Fire Pizza, Zoe’s Shaved Ice, Fuzzy’s Refreshments, Amethyst Prince, Apple Rose Beauty, Body and Soul Soap, Day Star Publishing. Down to Earth Farms, Firetrove, Lalie and Pops, Bijubee Jewelry, LulaRoe, MacMaddies, Ozone Road Soap, Scentsy, Simply Scented Candles, The Vine and the Branch, Random Fandom and Bark Pet Boutique.

Maps are available of the porches and performers at and on the day of the event. Parking is available on Main Street, at Florida State College and near Confederate and Klutho Parks. PorchFest is a pet-friendly event but all dogs must be leashed. Proceeds from the event are dedicated to SPAR’s arts programming and education fund.

About Liza Mitchell