celebrates two of the Wine Country capital’s best-kept secrets: the city’s grassroots music scene and its historic architecture.
The first porch music festival in California, according to officials in Sacramento, the all-volunteer Porchfest offers visitors the chance to experience a Napa few non-residents know.
From 2 to 5 p.m. July 31, more than 120 local musicians, in 42 groups, play for free on 26 porches in the city’s most picturesque neighborhoods.
“Vernacular porches and homegrown music” make a perfect match, says Napa architect, historical preservationist and City Council member Juliana Inman, one of Napa Porchfest’s volunteer organizers.
Inspired by the original Porchfest in Ithaca, N.Y., Napa Porchfest encourages musicians to leave their studios and play in public – and listeners to get out of their cars and stroll or cycle the city’s neighborhoods, enjoying the sounds of live music and the sights of historic homes from earlier times.
Bluegrass, jazz, folk, funk, blues, vocal harmonies, alternative rock and even classical eight-hands-two-piano performances are all on the Napa Porchfest schedule, constantly updated at napaporchfest.org and napa.patch.com/topics/porchfest
The musical menu includes up-and-coming Napa rock bands , Ove the Garden and ; bluegrass with the ; rockabilly and jump from the Lindy-worthy ; and more than 35 other local acts.
There’s even a with longtime Napa percussionist and educator John Hannaford, who promises audience participation.
While most of the Napa Porchfest events take place in residential neighborhoods, several are happening downtown at locations including and the , where Hannaford’s Pacific Rims is playing.
Historic inns including and the are also hosting Napa Porchfest performances.
Come 5 p.m., musicians and listeners all are invited to repair to the for a no-host after-party.
If you haven’t visited Napa recently, the three-hour Porchfest leaves plenty of time to explore the latest changes downtown, including a variety of sculptures along the and intriguing installations in the exhibition.
Hungry? Walkable restaurants include , , , and at Oxbow.
For more information about Napa Porchfest, visit napaporchfest.org and t or contact Napa County Landmarks at (707) 255-1836.
Napa Porchfest is sponsored by Napa County Landmarks, Napa Patch and .