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Consecon invites the community to enjoy live music in second annual Porchfest

A Consecon Porchfest 2021 participant- Janet Battaglio photo

Live music in a variety of genres is expected to fill the streets of Consecon Saturday.

With more than 40 musical acts spread across 17 locations around the hamlet, Consecon’s second annual Porchfest is expected to be a rocking time for the whole family, old and young alike, where many musical tastes are expected to be accommodated.

Musician and Consecon resident Tim Acker invites residents and visitors to explore Consecon to discover the hamlet, support local businesses, take in the picturesque setting, but mostly to come for the music on a late summer’s day.

Consecon Porchfest is set for Saturday, Sept. 17 where the musical porch performances are to begin at 11 a.m., running until 7 p.m. at various locations.

The idea is to stroll and wander the streets of Consecon, to be carried by the tunes or just on a whim, or alternatively plan to attend favourite acts. All acts are free of charge.

Acker has brought in a good range of different types of musical talent as well, to ensure everyone gets to hear their favourites.

“There is a huge array and I think you can probably find something of almost every genre, if you were here all day long,” says Acker.

“There is going to be a lot of country and rock, and some folk and blue grass; there are two wind ensembles who will play covers of popular music, television shows and movies. There will be a couple of jazz groups playing at a wine bar, and a 10-piece Motown group playing at the Honey House Café.”

Also, soloist flutists, and a Bavarian band are to be playing Oktoberfest music in the park.

The music will be playing, businesses will be open, and there will also be a vendor and bake sale at the Consecon United Church, plus a food truck roadside by the church. Vendors at the church include art and crafts, preserves and foodstuffs.

Following the porch performances will be Rock N’ Country Blues, a local band who will close out the day with more musical talent in Consecon park from 5 to 7 p.m., performing rock and country blues.

For those who attended last year’s event, Acker says this year’s Porchfest will follow a similar format with a similar number of musicians, some returning from last year, with a few new names thrown into the mix this time.

“They are mostly from this area, we have a lot from the County, a couple from the Belleville area, and one or two from Stirling, as well as bands from Kingston and Oshawa.”

The idea to bring a Porchfest-type event to Consecon last year was Acker’s idea and he is the organizer of this volunteer-run event, where other communities (such as Belleville and Stirling) have successfully held such events in past years, and still do.

It’s a celebration of live music and community where local musicians get to perform and engage in their community, for their community on a grass-roots level.

Porchfests gained in popularity in North America in the last 15 years in small towns when the first one is believed to have been held in 2007 in Ithaca, New York.

Acker says a few things have been tweaked from last year as some porches didn’t work well for the event as they got too much sun, not enough shade, etc. and a few were a little off the beaten path.

“We are a small town and it’s the perfect layout to do it, but not every single porch is perfect to have music on all day.”

As a musician himself (he played Porchfest last year) with many musical connections, he took on the task last year to make it happen and to focus on local talent, because, and in spite of COVID-19, and even with the uncertainty of the pandemic and not knowing what restrictions it would bring on the day.

At the time, many local musicians who rely on gigs for income saw none or very few for a year or maybe a year-and-a-half, so Acker set to work determined to make it happen in Consecon.

The musicians were happy to be playing and just to have an in-person audience for the first time in a long time, Acker said.

“Everyone was chomping at the bit to get out and have something to do after so long in.”

Last year’s event was intentionally kept low-key in its promotion to ensure the safety of all attendees who were asked to mask-up and keep their distance. Despite that, attendance was good and Acker was pleased with the inaugural event.

“We had plenty of visitors, and we wanted people to come, but we didn’t want it to be an issue with too many people,” said Acker. “There weren’t any issues and we had zero complaints and it was perfect in almost every way; we definitely got fortunate for the first time through.”

New this year to Consecon Porchfest is a passport system.

“Last year, we had an idea to draw people around town because it seemed like there was a lot of the people on the north end of town, but not a lot of people came south of the creek,” Acker said. “I thought it would be a good idea to draw people around by having a passport where whichever porch they went to they could a stamp or write down the code on their passport.”

At end the day, people can submit their passports and the ones with the most entries would go into a draw for some prizes, including local gift cards.

“Hopefully, that will entice people to go around, fill their passports out, get a chance to listen to a lot more groups and they can win something for it too.”

Acker recommends visitors bring a chair to make the experience more enjoyable, and maybe an umbrella for the sun. Wagons are welcome too.

“Every porchfest festival that I’ve been to, having a wagon seems to be a really big benefit,” he says.

More information can be found on Facebook by searching ‘Consecon Porchfest’, or just turn up and look for the posters around the village for participating porches and the times they are playing. The event goes ahead rain or shine.

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