CLEVELAND — After a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Larchmere Porchfest is returning this weekend to Cleveland’s East Side.
Started in Ithaca, New York, in 2007, Porchfest events bring local musicians and neighborhoods together to celebrate and create a sense of community.
“You're going to hear everything from classical to rock to hip hop and blues,” said the president of Porchfest Dawn Arrington. “It’s all original music has original artists.”
What began as an effort to uplift the neighborhood surrounding Larchmere Boulevard is now one of the most anticipated festivals of the year in Northeast Ohio. The festival features up to 22 bands, some performing from Cleveland residents’ porches.
“It has been a learning experience about how the world has changed, but also how much is still the same going into this festival,” Arrington said. “It’s a testament to the strength of the event. But the strength of the event lies in the strength of the. People in the community.
Music lovers can camp out in neighborhood lawns for the festivities. The free, family-friendly event got its start locally back in 2008 and has grown to attract thousands to listen to some of Northeast Ohio’s best bands.
“I've seen some of the, you know, the headliner bands and they're just so good. It's like, ‘why aren't you famous right now?’” Kim Grimes said.
Grimes is one of the hosts of Porchfest this year. Her front yard will serve as the stage for several of the musical acts throughout the day.
“I love live music, so anytime you can go to a concert, see some live music and it doesn't cost you anything, it’s great,” she said.
Larchmere Boulevard and Shaker Square have many restaurants to choose for guests to choose from, but there will also be vendors and a food court for additional food options.
“It's a chance to sort of share that love and warmth and sense of community with a bigger audience,” said Bob Yanega.
Concerts will last for 30-40 minutes at a time, so attendees are encouraged to bring chairs or a blanket to sit on. Bands performing concerts throughout the day include Funny Business, Mount Overlook and Mo’ Mojo.
The event showcases the best of the Larchmere neighborhood, and residents are excited to see the summer staple return.
“I know so many people have moved into this neighborhood or opened their business in this neighborhood because they heard about or attended a porch fest. And so, and it keeps the spirit going,” Arrington said.
Porchfest is on Saturday, June 25 from 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. Guests can pick up a printed schedule and map for the day at an information tent at the corner of East 127th Street and Larchmere.
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