Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Oriental's Ol' Front Porch Music Festival!

I've thought for a year that the one thing Oriental lacked was an annual music festival. Well .. it lacks it no more!
Last Saturday from noon 'til 4:00 was our first annual Ol' Front Porch Music Festival! And it was a good 'un! The event was named for an old country/junk/homespun-everything store that was "nerve central" in the village for many years. The building is now gone, but here's a little model of its old front porch:
Several times each week impromptu groups of musical villagers would gather on the porch and make music together -- usually country blue grass, I suppose. That style was the dominant theme of Saturday's festival.
The couple who ran the store had two daughters, Mary Clyde and Sally. Here they are!
They gathered folks around the old central hotel porch and spoke about their memories of their parents' store and the music made there.
Here's a photo from the old store. "Rent a Bike/Piano Lessons." I love it! That's my kind of store!
Okay ... on Saturday, various groups were asked to perform on the porches along Broad Street and Hodges Street in Oriental. Hundreds of folks showed up to enjoy the music, performed in half-hour gigs. We strolled along the sidewalks, drifting from one bubble of lovely music into the next one. It was a leisurely, pleasant event, and very social.
Harbor Sounds is a favorite local group. They sand on the new town hall porch.

This house had a fun group with a good-sized crowd.

Another porch down the street hosted the local ukelele band -- so fun!
Nautical Wheelers, a gift shop located in this lovely old building, had another band on their porch with spectators aplenty.
The local dentist had a duo on her porch doing great harmonies to some classic oldies.
A fiddle and a string bass ~

My friend Leigh welcomed a couple of groups to her porch.
This interesting and gifted fellow is playing an ancient Chinese instrument called an erhu. It has only two strings.
At the very end of Hodges Street, we found the last group (and a very good one) on the porch of Marsha's Cottage, a local boutique.
It was fun to watch this guy. I think he's playing a lap steel guitar.
Temperatures were HOT, and the humidity was through the roof. These listeners gathered in the shade of a magnolia tree.
A few clowns wandered around, scaring small children.
Great hotdogs and other edibles were sold for a nice, cheap price. Local restaurants put on specials that drew hungry, thirsty, weary visitors inside to their A/C.
Some porches sat empty, but I hope they'll be booming with music next year ~

Old Dr. Ragan's home is being redone and is looking fabulous. It's hard to see those doors, but they're so pretty.
This building, now empty, reminds me of the Alamo.
After walking the entire length of the music tour, Adam and I were hot and thirsty, so we stopped in the Bean. Oh My Word ... they were SLAMMED with people! I felt so sorry for the two girls working that afternoon. Usually they have a leisurely time, scooping the occasional ice cream.
Next year, hopefully the Bean will plan for the crowds. Adam got ice cream, and I had a mango smoothie.
This puppy's face says, "I've had enough of this walking!"
The first music festival was a smashing success, and I'm wondering how mammoth this will be in five years. Oriental has lots of great musicians already; this was a resource waiting to be tapped. Hopefully next year we'll have cooler weather. They plan to end the afternoon with a "big name group" down by the waterfront. Sounds like a plan!

1 comment:

  1. This was obviously really special! How unique that there were different groups on different front porches --- love that idea. We have the annual Creedmoor Music Festival coming this weekend. What a blessing to live near a small town!


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