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The 2019 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
Wanderers and Rabbits, Bluegrass and Jazz
October 10, 2019
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T
wenty-two acts. Fourteen porches and stages. One town on the water.

The 2019 Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival (Oct 4-6) saw an estimated couple-thousand people wandering Oriental and taking it all in. Many music festivals have a high dollar ticket price. This festival is free. To make it all work, Ol’ Front Porch relies on donations & sponsors. It works – this was the 6th annual festival.

The headlining act for 2019 was the Way Down Wanderers. They are “Award Winning Eclectic Newgrass” from Peoria, Illinois. They’ve hit #3 on the Billboard Bluegrass Albums chart. They’ve toured across the U.S., Canada and the UK. On Saturday – they landed on Oriental:

The Way Down Wanderers close out their show with Cecilia.

Cane Mill Road, the River Ratz, Hooverville, and more returned to play the 2019 Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival. The bands, along with favorite local acts, took over the porches of the Old Village, playing and singing bluegrass, Americana, gospel, and even some jazz.

New to this year’s festival were Hank, Pattie & the Current, Into The Fog, Chatham Rabbits, and headliners The Way Down Wanderers.

Festival co-founders Dottie and Dick Osmun and Leslie Kellenberger, the the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival Board of Directors, and a small army of volunteers spend months getting all the details right. The festival is a throwback – on a grander scale – to when musicians of all skills would gather on the front porch of the Ol’ Store and jam.

“I came into town Friday, and there was this excitement in the air,” said Dottie. She puts the weekend estimate at more than 3,000. “Everybody just seemed to have a really good time.”

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The Gospel Ensemble sings from the same porch on Freemason Street every year. Listeners pack the street to hear them.

You can listen, too:


Gospel Ensemble sings The Lord is My Strength

Gospel Ensemble sings Oh Magnify
2019 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
If you’re not sure where to go…
2019 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
Taking that all important snack break.
2019 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
Even stuffed animals got in on the listening action.
2019 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
Cane Mill Road performed Friday and Saturday night. The first performance was inside The Old Theater, where some listeners sat outside the open doors to listen.
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The young musicians of Cane Mill Road, inside The Old Theater.

The closing of O’Town restaurant moved Cane Mill Road into The Old Theater on Friday night, a new venue for the festival. In an unexpected move, Cane Mill Road invited Chatham Rabbits to join them onstage for their second set.

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Chatham Rabbits, Saturday on the Main Stage by the riverfront.
2019 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
This pup and Ray D’Angelo took in the gospel singers on Freemason St.
2019 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
Bikes were one of the more popular ways to see all the bands. Jimmie reclines in his trike bike as he watches acts on the Main Stage.
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Margie Ratzlaff of the River Ratz talks about her inspiration for the next song – when a plate of crawdads made specially for the band was devoured by a cheering stranger.
2019 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
Fries – hot and ready.
2019 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
Summer Daniels watches The Way Down Wanderers from an elevated perch.
2019 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
The Way Down Wanderers from Peoria, IL were this year’s headliners.
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The Way Down Wanderers.
2019 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival
The Way Down Wanderers’s drummer and spoon man.

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Posted Thursday October 10, 2019 by Allison DeWeese


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