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Rochester bands play during Porchfest in Kutzky neighborhood

Porchfest is an annual event for the Kutzky Park neighborhood since 2016.

porchfest
Two people lay in a front yard and watch Jealous Brother perform in Kutzky Park Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.
Abby Sharpe / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — If you live in the Kutzky Park neighborhood or found yourself driving through the area Saturday afternoon, Sept. 17, 2022, chances are you heard music playing.

Nine bands were lined up to play on driveways and in lawns during Kutzky Park’s annual Porchfest, an event that Jesse Welsh started in 2016.

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Welsh no longer lives in the neighborhood – she moved to Minneapolis in 2018 – but she makes the commute to attend Porchfest every year. It’s something Welsh appreciates, and a day that continues to bring Kutzky Park neighbors together.

Welsh and other organizers in 2016 looked at Porchfests that happened in other parts of the country and drew inspiration for an event that she said was “super easy to put together.”

“Everybody has beautiful porches, and I knew a lot of people who were in local bands, so we just figured it was a great mix,” Welsh said.

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Kerri Neil, who helped organize Porchfest, lives in the house where Fred the Bear played Saturday. Her front yard was filled with bag chairs and porch furniture for guests to sit and listen. Neil even supplied chalk for kids to draw on the sidewalk, which is something Welsh’s son was drawn to immediately.

porchfest
The group that helped organize Porchfest poses in Kutzky Park in Rochester Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022. Jesse Welsh stands third from right next to Kerri Neil, second from right.
Abby Sharpe / Post Bulletin

Neil was excited to participate in Porchfest.

“I think people forget that this is a neighborhood people live in close to downtown,” she said. “I feel like having people come and walk around really helps."

Welsh doesn’t see Porchfest ending anytime soon. Residents and local bands look forward to it and continue to reserve a fall Saturday for Porchfest.

“It’s a great mix of people who come back every year, want to play every year and want to host,” Welsh said. “It’s just a great group of people who love living here.”

porchfest
An audience for Fred the Bear sits in the front yard of Kerri Neil's house in Kutzky Park in Rochester Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.
Abby Sharpe / Post Bulletin

Abby Sharpe joined the Post Bulletin in February 2022 after graduating from Arizona State University with a sports journalism degree. While at ASU, she created short- and long-form stories for audio and digital. Readers can reach Abby at 507-285-7723 or asharpe@postbulletin.com.
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