As I look out my office window today, one week ago from Westporch Fest, I can’t help but acknowledge how lucky we got. The damp, drizzly rain that is blanketing the village today, could have been last Saturday, effectively killing our crack at bringing the porch-festival idea to Westport. We could be sitting here at 10:21am, wondering if the rain would subside for the 1pm start, or would anyone show up for that matter, given the weather.
But we got lucky. It’s almost like Mother Nature did us a solid in providing us one of the best days we could have hoped for. Because not 48 hours later, we were starting a fire in our wood-stove here at Tett House to keep the house warm. The season completely flipped this past week, and we are officially into the unpredictable weather that comes with Autumn every year.
So thank you Mother Nature for making Westporch Fest a HUGE success.
When John Pringle and I started planning this event a mere 6 weeks ago, we never in our wildest dreams would have imagined such an amazing event. The initial conversation started like this:
John: “You see there are a lot of these signs popping up in the village saying Welcome to the Westporch” and there are these events that happened (pre-COVID) where people used their porches as stages and have musicians and artists perform on them.”
Me: “Yeah, sounds cool”
John: “And I was thinking, since we already have the coolest name for the event (Westporch Fest), maybe you’d like to help me plan something like that for Westport? I don’t know how many people will show, or how many would want to get involved, but I think it’s worth trying. Are ya in?”
Me: “OF COURSE.”
Now I know I’m paraphrasing a bit here, but it really was as organic as that. John and I both realized very early on that the success of the event would only come if we could provide a solid foundation for an idea, and let the community members run with it. We knew that it had been a LONG 18 months of closures, isolation and uncertainty because of COVID and we wanted this event to be an opportunity for both the residents and the business community to see their neighbours again, to safely be reminded that Westport is an amazing community.
And that’s what Westporch Fest turned out to be. 18 different residents and businesses opened their porches, driveways, and side yards. They contacted local musicians to play the event. They organized giveaways, food and drinks, and decorated their porches to add to the spirit of the event. The community provided all the necessary ingredients to make Westporch Fest a success, all we needed now were the people.
And oh did the people respond. So many smiling faces and joyful eyes were out in Westport last Saturday. It was a sight to see! Luckily we took lots of photos – a selection are below so go take a look.
So many thanks are in order, to John Pringle for his tireless dedication to organizing the event with me and getting the word out. To our families who supported us through the entire process and went above and beyond the day of the event. To all the residents and Westport businesses that donated their time, efforts and funds to making the event what it was. To the musicians, artists, and other community members who brought the spirit of the event to life.
To those that are wondering who won the “Best Westporch?” Here are the top three, as determined by our esteemed judges:
- The Pit Crew at the Gathering Place
- The Kid Zone
- The Stray Cat Inn
We are already getting calls for next year’s event. It sounds like we are going to have to make this an annual thing. What do you say? Would you join us next year for Westporch Fest the sequel? I hope you will.
Meet you on the porch.
A huge shout out to my wife Dana Ruprecht for taking awesome photos during Westporch Fest. You can see what she captured below: