Holiday Porchfest comes to Jefferson City

Porchfest is coming back to Jefferson City sooner than expected -- but with a holiday twist.

Porchfestmas, a smaller, condensed version of the main Porchfest JCMO festival, is scheduled for 4-7 p.m. Dec. 11 on Forest Hill Avenue.

Porchfest is a family-friendly event that showcases local artists in historic neighborhoods. It started in Jefferson City in 2018 as a small event among a handful of porches along Capitol Avenue and has since become a broader community event that's eagerly anticipated for its music, art, crafts and food.

"A lot of the activities for the holidays center around the downtown area, so we wanted to bring the holidays to the neighborhoods," event organizer Leann Porrello said.

Porchfestmas will come to local neighborhoods each year, filling the streets with live holiday music and decorations. There will also be a Christmas craft, hot cocoa and cider, snacks and Santa. Having it smaller and more condensed will allow the event to be held in neighborhoods that aren't feasible for the normal Porchfest due to parking, size or other factors.

"There's a lot of different neighborhoods that really step up their Christmas decorations, so we hope more neighborhoods will want to do this version of Porchfest," Porrello said.

This year, it will be on Forest Hill Avenue, where the last fall and spring Porchfests were held. The plan is to hold it in different neighborhoods in the future, and maybe even in multiple neighborhoods at the same time.

"We'd like to see multiple neighborhoods have it, and people would be able to drive around through the whole community, and we could eventually even tie it with our Christmas lights competition," Porrello said.

The size of the event will allow the focus to be on spreading holiday cheer through music and decorations, Porrello said.

"We're looking forward to this different take," Porrello said. "It'll have the same feel and vibes as the original Porchfest, but holiday-themed and a lot smaller. We're just encouraging the community to come out, grab a warm drink, hear some Christmas music and check out the lights."