These days it’s not unusual for neighbors to be strangers, but they mixed and mingled in the Kendall Yards and West Central neighborhoods Saturday during the inaugural Porch Fest event.
People sat in yards or stood on sidewalks to listen to a variety of music and poetry at 10 homes along Broadway Avenue, Mallon Avenue and Summit Parkway. The event was designed by Spokane photographer Marshall Peterson as a way for neighbors to get to know each other and to encourage people in the established West Central neighborhood to visit with people in the new Kendall Yards development.
Lissa and Eric Robison enthusiastically offered their home in the 2800 block of West Broadway in historic West Central for a series of concerts in their backyard.
“We thought, we have a really good deck,” Lissa Robison said. “We want to be a part of this.”
The couple recently moved into the neighborhood with their 18-month-old son, Holden. For Saturday’s event, they brought out chairs as well as a ping pong table and sidewalk chalk. The side of the house became an impromptu bike parking area.
“We want to build up the neighborhood,” Robison said. “This sounded like a great event. We’re hoping that it will be a success.”
Linda Emoto and her husband were riding their bikes down the Centennial Trail when they heard the Hawaiian music coming from “Porch 6” in the 2200 block of Summit Parkway in Kendall Yards. They had learned about the event on Facebook and decided to check it out. “It’s a nice community event,” she said.
Tacie Taylor and her friend, Mary Deniston, sat in the shade of an umbrella on the porch next door to Porch 6 sipping on pina coladas. “We’re roughing it,” Deniston said.
Taylor said she thought the event was a great idea and was pleased that the bands and singers would spend the afternoon playing in rotating locations. “It comes to us,” she said.
Crowds at the concert locations fluctuated as people came and went. Many were on bikes or on foot. Peterson spent the afternoon stopping by each porch to check in. “It’ll get rocking as the day goes on,” he said.
Peterson pledged that the first Porch Fest would not be the last.
“Even if it doesn’t go well, we’ll do it again,” he said. “You don’t swing once in baseball.”
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