— Highland Square Neighborhood Association will bring this year’s PorchRokr Music and Arts Festival back to where it all began. The streets and porches of Northwest Highland Square will play host once again on Saturday, Aug. 20 for the all-day event. With major support from Akron Community Foundation and the City of Akron, PorchRokr is the premier showcase event for homegrown music in Akron, featuring 130 bands on 36 porches and four stages throughout the neighborhood.
Kicking off the festival at 10:15 a.m. is the incomparable PorchRokr Guitar Orchestra, now in its third year. Led by James Marron, head of the University of Akron Classical Guitar Department, 20-plus guitarists of all ages and abilities will play a selection of pieces in tribute to David Bowie and Prince.
Food trucks, food vendors and art vendors will be located throughout the festival along with many local artists. In addition, a Kids Zone, sponsored by KinderCare Learning Centers, will be at Hereford Park and Educational Workshops focused on environmental issues will be hosted by GAINS and Let’s Grow Akron at the Edgerton triangle.
The headliner this year, appearing on the Jilly’s Music Room Main Stage, is The Dreemers. This up and coming Akron band combines garage, soul and rock and roll. Band members Robert Keith, Benjamin Patrick and Natalie Grieshammer will work their magic starting at 7:15 p.m.
HSNA also will partner with New Belgium Brewing, one of the best craft breweries in the country, for the Beer Garden (located on Dopler Avenue). The Beer Garden will feature signature beers and sour beers. New Belgium will also be taking over the taps at the Mustard Seed Market & Cafe, offering its Fat Tire and Friends Collaboration beers all day. Local bars in Highland Square will have growlers and glasses, designed by Kevin Smalley, for sale along with New Belgium offerings.
The Merriman is included in the festival, with a Jazz Stage sponsored by Summit Toyota, food trucks and vendors. Staff of The Merriman will be available to give tours of this historic home to visitors.
Additional points of interest:
- The Fairlawn and Hudson Schools of Music Kids/Teen Stage: Featuring young musicians playing pop, jazz and rock at Hereford Park.
- Wandering Aesthetics #EPCooker: This Knight Arts Challenge Winner will host their open mic cabaret on Casterton Avenue.
- Mini-Poetry Festival: An emerging poetry initiative will have local poets reading and will unveil a temporary street poem on Wye Drive.
- Silent Disco: Silent Disco will be from 9 to 11 p.m. near Mustard Seed Market & Café. Three Local DJs will spin music and dancers can rent headsets to be part of the party for $5.
PorchRokr is a fundraiser for the Highland Square Neighborhood Association and will be the 5th festival to be held in four years. This year the event was awarded the “Best Free Festival in Akron” by Akron Life magazine, received a “Beacons Best” award and was nominated for a Zenith award by the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau.
For info (including a schedule and map), visit www.porchrokr.org.
Check out this week’s Spoils of Akron podcast, featuring organizers Katie Carver Reed and Anita Marron.