Second annual Suwanee Summer Porch Jam a hit with locals and visitors

Jim Simpson

(Suwanee) — It was a sweltering and breezeless summer solstice Friday evening in Old Town Suwanee. Volunteers stationed on Main St. handed out paper fans with the Suwanee Summer Porch Jam logo on one side and a map of venues on the other. The fans gave people the chance to stir up some personal breeze as well.

Local musicians serenaded listeners across nine different porches on Main St. and along Stonecypher Rd. At Huthmaker Violins, located in the historic 1880 Rhodes Hotel on Russell St., bluegrass band Delusions of Adequacy played from the front porch to toe-tapping folks seated on the lawn. Between tunes the band quipped that folks were so nice in the neighborhood that the late Mister Rogers would approve. A “violin petting zoo” in one corner of the property gave young and old alike the chance to get some hands-on time with stringed instruments.

Dave Masters and his family were visiting from Missouri for a friend’s wedding. “This is really neat. Everyone is so relaxed, nice and friendly,” he said, glancing up Main St. “Some of these old houses remind me of the ones in my grandparents’ neighborhood. Really sweet area.”

The Suwanee Summer Porch Jam, in its second year, is part of Make Music Day, an international celebration of music. Originated in France in 1982, it’s held on the summer solstice every year in more than 750 cities in 120 countries.

France’s Ministry of Culture dreamed up the idea for a new kind of musical holiday. They imagined a day where free, live music would be everywhere: street corners and parks, rooftops and gardens, store fronts and main streets.

Unlike a typical music festival, anyone and everyone would be invited to join and play music or host performances. The event would take place on the summer solstice, June 21, and would be called Fête De La Musique. (In French, the name means both “festival of music” and “make music.”)

“It was great to have it fall on a weekend night,” City of Suwanee Events & Outreach Manager Amy Doherty said. “It was a good crowd and we were happy with the turnout we had this year. Looking forward to next year and still trying to decide how we handle the event falling on a Sunday.”

Food trucks lined up in front of the old red caboose at Pierce’s Corner offered BBQ, Greek food, pizza, ice cream and kettle corn. The longest lines were at the Jerk Bros. truck for their popular jerk chicken tacos.

Toddlers and teens pounded away on upturned red buckets in a drum circle, while down the street at Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette’s house a folk/rock duo performed as listeners sat in the front yard or chatted in the street. Around the corner on Stonecypher St., the historic Ireland House featured a karaoke stage where anyone could sign up to perform.

Two houses down at Everett’s Music Barn, the usual Saturday bluegrass show came a day early specially for this event. Three bands rotated throughout the night inside while local pickers jammed out front adding to the hometown, block party vibe that spread throughout the neighborhood.

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Verified by ExactMetrics