Porchfest JCMO 2023

Photo courtesy of Molly Bryan with JC Parks.

1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1 at Forest Hills Ave. and W. Main Street

Jefferson City boasts live music at restaurants, summer concerts and many picnics and gatherings, but no event celebrates music and art better than Porchfest JCMO.

Porches become stages for musicians of all genres and skill levels at Porchfest. Neighborly hospitality is represented at its finest as the yards of homeowners turn into venues of entertainment for the community. Vibrancy and celebrations of art fill the streets as murals and crafts are created and games are played. Porchfest is a simple idea that displays home-grown talent throughout the community where generosity rules the day.

Porchfest JCMO has mushroomed in size and requires a great deal of organization, starting with a dedicated group of volunteers on the Porchfest committee that is spearheaded by JC Parks Cultural Arts Specialist, Leann Porello.

“Porchfest JCMO has grown organically,” Prello said. “Our first event on Capitol Avenue in 2018 drew in around 1500 people, and now we see over 4,000 people. I think the power of word-of-mouth is the reason for the steady growth.”

What began as a smaller-scale community festival downtown is now embarking on its fifth year of bringing wholesome fun to Jefferson City. One of the largest festivals of the season, the fall 2023 Porchfest JCMO will take place on Forest Hill Ave. and will extend to West Main Street.

The Porchfest team schedules when and where the performers play, which is no easy feat with 40 artists, but the musicians organize their own acts, with some acts performing multiple times during the event.

“Organizing the event is fairly easy and smooth because our team is full of dedicated people to the arts,” Porello said. “Everyone on the committee is committed to bringing arts in all its forms to Jefferson City.”

Porchfest brings a festive, welcoming scene that is brought together by music, neighborly hospitality, art and community. Along the way, there will be food trucks and other activities to keep music fans of all ages entertained.

First Time Porchfest-goers

New to Porchfest JCMO? Porello has advice for first-time attendees.

“My best advice for new attendees is to wear good walking shoes and come prepared to support all forms of art from music to visual artists, street performers, live painters, etc.,” Porello said. “All of our artists play for tips, and this is an opportunity for our community to pay it back.” 

Come hungry, as there will be six to eight food trucks ready to serve local deliciousness ranging from snacks to full meals to desserts. 

The future is bright for Porchfest JCMO as it will continue to grow, becoming more diverse and accessible, and including more art forms and local talents. The festival has already expanded to two seasonal events and a mini holiday-themed event called Porchfestmas.

“As we grow, we see different artists coming from many surrounding cities. We also have neighborhoods starting to reach out to us to hold the event there,” Porello said. “Porchfest JCMO would not be possible without the graciousness of our artists donating their time and talents.”