Rich Howells

Scranton PorchFest returns with free live music and decorated homes and businesses on March 26

Scranton PorchFest returns with free live music and decorated homes and businesses on March 26
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When Scranton’s annual St. Patrick’s Parade was canceled in 2020 and postponed in 2021 due to the pandemic, residents of the city’s historic Hill Section celebrated in their own way with the first-ever Scranton PorchFest.

Around 78 homes and small businesses became colorful “floats” under the direction of Scranton Fringe Festival organizers, and live music was performed on the front porches of several homes, bringing people together for a fun event last year while they all maintained a safe distance.

“I have been directly inspired by the incredible porch floats and house floats coming out of New Orleans and their annual celebration of Mardi Gras,” Scranton Fringe co-founder and executive director Conor Kelly O’Brien said before the first event.

“It is very much putting the power of this creativity into the hands of people – the artists, the homeowners, the businesses, and you, the residents and people who live in this beautiful, beautiful community.”

ScrantonMade, which sells locally-themed products and organizes special events, continued that idea a few months later with “Live Music in the Hill,” a series of free outdoor shows throughout the Hill Section.

“We did it on a whim, threw it together in about two to three days, and it was so well-received by neighbors that we put out a poll in our neighborhood Facebook group. All neighbors in the group voted we continue the series, so that’s where we are at today,” ScrantonMade owner Cristin Powers told NEPA Scene last year.

“This is mostly organic, as most of the musicians live here in the Hill. I just kind of guide the schedule.”

Now, the original Scranton PorchFest is back this Saturday, March 26 with live music from 1 p.m.-6 p.m. at various locations.

“This year is quite smaller than in 2021, which is OK. PorchFest is a DIY event designed to respond and change each year to the creativity and resources available within our community,” O’Brien noted on the event’s website.

“However, we are extremely grateful for the support and involvement of the nearly 15 homes, nonprofits, and businesses who are taking part, in particular the dedicated team within the 700 block of North Irving Avenue.”

Meals on Wheels of NEPA (541 Wyoming Ave., Scranton) will be participating this time, hosting acoustic duo Holy Sardine from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. in front of the building, which has been decorated by teens from the NEPA Youth Shelter. Some concessions and NEPA Youth Shelter merchandise will be available for purchase.

“Scranton PorchFest is a city-wide event centered on community, Scranton’s diverse cultural history, and a joyful celebration that anyone with a porch (or storefront or yard or garden or fence) can join in,” O’Brien said.

“All musicians are being paid thanks to the Scranton Fringe Festival, the Scranton Area Community Foundation, and other key supporters.”

Scranton PorchFest live music schedule

  • 1 p.m.-3 p.m.: Holy Sardine at Meals on Wheels (541 Wyoming Ave., Scranton)
  • 3 p.m.: Greg Kondrat Trio on 700 block of N. Irving Ave.
  • 4 p.m.: Jack Goddard on 700 block of N. Irving Ave.
  • 5 p.m.: Dave Brown of The Dishonest Fiddlers on 700 block of N. Irving Ave.

Scranton PorchFest participating locations

  • 713 N. Irving Ave.
  • 715 N. Irving Ave.
  • 719 N. Irving Ave.
  • 721 N. Irving Ave.
  • 725 N. Irving Ave.
  • 726 N. Irving Ave.
  • 727 N. Irving Ave.
  • Meals on Wheels (541 Wyoming Ave.)
  • 2309 N. Washington Ave.
  • Yoga West (535 Linden St.)
  • 1205 Euclid Ave.
  • Fringe @ 200 Adams (200 Adams Ave.)

Watch NEPA Scene’s 2021 Scranton PorchFest live streams of the Electric Hands Swing Orchestra and Dave Brown with Shawn Caden below:

Photo by Rich Howells/NEPA Scene