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Porchfest 2017

by Ben Kaplan
May 23, 2017

Ah, the sounds of summer: birds chirping, ice cream trucks jingling, and...bluegrass music?

Coinciding this weekend with the local Springfest was the second annual Holliston Porchfest music festival. Friends and family of the community were greeted by the sounds of over a dozen acts ranging from covers of classic rock songs to original soloist material as they strolled through Mudville and the downtown Commercial District on a particularly sunny Saturday afternoon. Featured performers included Holliston-based groups such as Hillbilly Pop and the Knopp Brothers.

Organized by a joint effort from the Holliston Business Association, Holliston Arts Council, and volunteers such as Angela Herring and Cliff Moreland, Porchfest serves as a way to promote local talent and as an opportunity to come together as a community and “celebrate with a spirit of togetherness” according to the event’s webpage.

One of those local performers was soloist Ricardo Barraza. Mr. Barraza was set up outside of the library with his guitar and his tip jar at the ready. A two-year resident of Holliston, Mr. Barraza had been wanting to perform in town for some time and after hearing about the event from his neighbor, jumped at the chance . “I thought this would be a great opportunity to give back a little bit,” said Barraza. “All the musicians do it for free. I was like, ‘Yeah, that has my name written all over it.’”


Zanois-a Manchester, NH based “weird-pop” band performs in the front yard of a Washington Street Residence

The term “porchfest” stems from the rather informal nature of the concerts. Performances occurred in residents’ front yards or in the parking lots of local businesses. The event was inspired by similar concerts put on by various other communities, specifically in Jamaica Plain and other towns close to Boston.

Selectman Jay Marsden, one of the festival’s organizers, described Mudville as an obvious choice for a place to host Holliston’s own version. “It’s got the perfect vibe,” said Marsden. “It’s got the houses close together. It’s got the neat and funky porches. These things kind of lend themselves to this kind of artistic and creative event.”

Marsden continued that he hopes in the future that the festival will be able to grow into a widely recognized community staple. “We’re hoping to build on it year after year. We’re looking to add porches every year and really knit the whole thing together,” said Marsden.


Hillbilly Pop performs outside of Casey’s Pub

 

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