The first annual Porchfest occurred on Saturday, June 5, 2021 in New London, MN. Attendees wandered from porch to porch, enjoying the different local musicians, variety of music and hearing poetry within a few blocks. As a bonus, two local businesses, Alley on Ash and Goat Ridge Brewing, had live music with bands that evening on outdoor stages.
The day became a wonderful tribute to Bill Gossman (former mayor Bill Gossman), who encouraged so many of us to volunteer, create activities, and take the chance to create something new for everyone to take part in and enjoy.
There were nine porches or spaces in downtown New London during the day (from 11am to 5pm) that had 20 bands or individual musicians. At 2:30pm, Kyle Ollah performed on the outdoor stage; at 3pm, that stage became the Bill Gossman Memorial Stage. After the dedication, a few people shared memories of Bill, and then Charlie Parr and Liz Draper played to the crowd at 3:30pm.
On Saturday morning, the New London Arts and Culture Alliance and volunteers set up donuts, cookies and coffee for the musicians at the New London Little Theatre. A couple of the areas had snacks delivered to the musicians.
Project Challenges & Success
The first annual Porchfest 2021 was a great success even in the heat! Although temperatures were in the 90s, attendance was great. In anticipation for another hot summer day, event planners will negate this by having more water stations at more of the porches for the musicians and attendees.
Porchfest 2021 was a great time and success! Event planners are already anticipating planning another one. Organizers will be establishing a recruitment plan for more volunteers as an event to this measure takes a great deal of community support.
After the year of isolation due to the pandemic, it was a healing and transformative experience to gather as community members, musicians, and artists. The musicians appreciated being able to gather, communicate, and play together. The audience/community members appreciated experiencing the various music and hearing some of their local favorites, as well as the talented Duluth area musicians Kyle Ollah, Charlie Parr, and Liz Draper. Thank you for everyone who came out and enjoyed Porchfest 2021. Stay tuned for more upcoming events in the area!
Willmar Lakes Area Vision 2040 is a grassroots movement in Kandiyohi County to make our communities better than they were yesterday. Our mission is to support the dreamers and the doers in Kandiyohi County. We strive to create a better tomorrow through supporting projects that are community minded with special emphasis on the four focus areas; Health & Wellness, Communication, Inclusion and Engagement.
Vision 2040 is a collaborative, community-led and driven initiative composed of your neighbors, friends and coworkers.