FYI:

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival



What is your mission? The mission of the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, Inc. is to organize musical events and educational programs which provide performance venues for our region’s diverse range of musicians, while also fostering economic vitality in Pamlico County, and bringing people of different racial and cultural backgrounds, young and old, together to perform, affording both the audience and the performers the opportunity to learn about and appreciate their shared musical heritage.

Where does the  festival location take place? The Riverfront Stage is at 605 South Ave, Oriental, NC. Other performances take place on porches in a roughly two block radius of the Riverfront Stage.

How do I purchase tickets for the Festival? There are no tickets; the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival is free to the public, thanks to generous sponsors and donors. Please consider making a donation to support the festival at the Information Booth.

What are the Festival Hours? Performances begin at 11 a.m. each day, the last performance is at 5 p.m. and ends by 6:30 p.m. The Food Park is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m or until sold out. The Village Market is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or until sold out.

Do I need to bring a chair? The Ol’ Front Porch Festival provides some folding chairs at each performance location. Feel free to bring your own folding chair to ensure you have a place to sit. Umbrellas or shade structures are not allowed as they can interfere with audience sightlines.

Can I bring in food and drink? You may bring food and drink into the festival grounds; alcoholic beverages are not permitted.

Can I bring my dog? Leashed dogs are permitted. If your dogs are disruptive to people, performances, or other animals you may be asked to remove them from the festival. Please clean up after your pet!

Smoking policy The Ol’ Front Porch Festival is a smoke free environment. We ask that you not smoke or use e-cigarettes in the festival audience or near the porches.

Golf Carts, Vehicles, Shuttles and Parking Golf carts are permitted in the festival area; golf carts must stay behind the sound booth at the Riverfront Stage. At Porch venues, please do not pull your cart onto the lawn; park your cart on the street and walk to the porch.

The Festival provides a courtesy golf cart shuttle intended primarily for handicapped patrons, based at the Transportation Hub at the corner of Freemason and Third.

Parking: If possible, please use parking lots noted on the Festival Map. When parking along town streets without curbs, please pull all the way off the road and onto the grass. Please take care not to block driveways. A handicapped parking area is available at the Transportation Hub at Freemason and Third.

Lodging for the Festival weekend A word to the wise: book early! The Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival weekend is one of the most popular of the season. For information on lodging, visit https://townoforiental.com/ . There is one small RV campground in Oriental: https://www.facebook.com/RvparkOrientalNC/ .

What do you do with donated money? Where does the money go? There is no paid staff for the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival. Your donations go to
  • Operating costs for the annual festival, including performer fees, equipment rentals and
    insurance
  • An annual college scholarship to a PCHS student who has been involved the school
    music programs
  • Accounting and other service fees to professionals supporting the work of the festival
  • Printing and publicity for the festival


    If you have any other questions feel free to contact the festival at info@olfrontporch.org.


    What is the history of the Festival?
    The Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival was founded 2014 by Dottie and Dick Osmun and Leslie Kellenberger. Its roots are in music played on the porches of Oriental, decades ago:

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Village Market & Food Park


At the Village Market, you will find artisans selling their arts, crafts and collectables. You can participate as a vendor at the Village Market. Applications here:

The Food Park features local nonprofit organizations teamed up with area restaurants to offer a variety of “grab and go” food items. If your nonprofit organization is interested in being part of the Festival, send your contact information to info@olfrontporch.org..

The Village Market is located at Lou Mac Park. The Food Park is along South Avenue.

Village Market

Alpacas of the Crystal Coast: Alpaca outerwear. Socks, gloves, hats and scarves. Dryer balls, felted items and alpaca stuffed animals.

Backwoods Barbie: Crafts, Art, Farmasi

Barbara Moore Pottery: Barbara will have handmade stoneware and porcelain functional pieces. These include mugs, vases, bowls, teapots, jugs, dishes, jars, and pitchers.

Blessed Day Creations: Driftwood trees, wooden game boards, clay nativities, jewelry.

Bayboro Development Center: Bayboro Development Center’s mission is to assist and improve the quality of life for individuals who have been incarcerated and are returning to our community.

Beth’s Beads: Artist Janine Gillian will have her hand braided bracelets, necklaces and earrings. This year she has made beautiful beaded watch bands for Apple watches.

Buff City Soap/Sun Tan City: Plant based soap and body care products. Also selling laundry dryer balls, and scent boosters.

Chey Guy Co: Crochet items from clothes to plushies.

Art by Elaine Hinchman: Elaine’s paintings are acrylic textured of sailboats and the coast. The texture gives the observer a feeling of movement in the waves and wind. It evokes the feeling of sea spray lightly misting their face and sand between their toes, making the viewer feel present on the picturesque coast.

Empty Nest Studio and Gallery: Jewelry made from seashells found on the beach. A mold is made and cast in silver, copper and bronze. Textures from shells, driftwood, barnacles and coral are also used in the castings.

EP7 Youth Outreach: EP7 Youth Outreach Is A Faith-Based, Human Service Organization Which Provides Bereavement Support And Educational Services For Youth And Their Families.

Fish Eyed Fool: Handmade wooden trivets featuring fish, turtles and other shapes, also handmade wooden cajons.

George Peele: Original watercolors Focused on workboats and landscapes of North Carolina’s Inner and Outer Banks.

Heather Cobham: Local author of three award winning novels set in Oriental: Hungry Mother Creek, The Mother Tree and the newest release, Calling the Circle.

Holt’s Chapel Community Center: Holt’s Chapel Community Center is on the National Register of Historic Places and is located at 136 Janiero Road; a Rosenwald school that served African American children from 1921 to 1963.

King James Paradise of Jewelry: Paparazzi accessories. Necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and hair accessories.

Roz Kutchins: Make your own silver dragon and nautical charm earrings and pendants with your choice of beads. Proceeds go to PAWS (Pamlico Animal Welfare Society).

Mike Walker Intarsia: Wall art made from solid natural hardwoods from around the world.

Neanderthal Pottery: Sculptural and traditional hand built and wheel thrown pottery.

Marine Corps League Oriental Dragon Detachment #1413: Fundraising raffle for toys for tots, scholarships and wounded warriors.

Pamlico Democrats: Learn about the upcoming municipal elections and the new voter photo ID requirements.

Quin Dionne: Coastal wildlife paintings on repurposed wood & canvas and whimsical painted palm tree fish.

Mary E. Scott: Local Author of Dearest Jim, A Memoir of Love, Loss and Resilience (2023).

Senbete Shaffer: Whimsical canvas paintings.

Simply Susan: Essential oil products and acrylic, shattered glass, resin art.

Whimsical Creations by Sue: Polymer earrings, shell craft and gifts.

Food Park

Bayboro Development Center – The Great Wall

Friends of the Pamlico County Public Library – Yawl’s Cafe

NAACP Pamlico County – Silos\

Pamlico County Fishes and Loaves – Piggly Wiggly “The Piglet”

Parkinson’s Disease Oriental Alliance – M&M’s Cafe

Mary Ellen Ham

Pamlico Partnership for Children

Pamlico High Navy Junior ROTC Booster Club

Rotary Club of Oriental

S.E. Pamlico Volunteer Fire Dept. Station 19 – The Bean

Youth Navigating Towards Opportunity (YNTO) – Rick’s N.C. BBQ

Prime Time – Barco’s Food Company Fusion Restaurant

Taylor & Sons BBQ & Catering

Hope Clinic – Darrell Gibbs – Fish Fry

Helping Hands – Flame Catering & Banquet Center

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Festival Co-Founder Dorothea May Detwiler Osmun, 1941-2022


We knew her as Dottie, the soft-spoken but determined – some might say politely strong-minded – co-founder, chairwoman and director of the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival. It may have been her 30 years teaching English to middle-schoolers in Bay Shore on New York’s Long Island that prepared her to run the sprawling, all-volunteer Ol’ Front Porch organization – and to run it well.

Dottie and her husband, Dick, both avid sailors, retired to Oriental in 1994. In 1998, they co-founded Harbor Sounds, a popular bluegrass gospel group whose mission was to raise money for charities. Over $350,000 has been raised by the group in its 22 years of performing. Dottie was lead singer and Dick continues to play guitar.

Dottie was involved in many local organizations, including HOPE Clinic, the Hospice Thrift Shop, the Garden Club, and the Oriental Dance Club (she loved to dance!). She was president of the Oriental Woman’s Club in 1999-2000.

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Dottie in a frequent pose during the festival… coordinating on the phone. From left, Leslie Kellenberger, performer Brittany Jean, Dottie.

After her arthritis forced her to stop performing with Harbor Sounds, she and her longtime friend and neighbor, Leslie Kellenberger, began discussing ways to promote local musicians. Leslie had an idea. What if bands could play on the porches of homes and businesses around Oriental? It could be a way to revive the spirit of pick-up roots music played back in the day on the porch of Captain Billy and Lucille Truitt’s Ol’ Store.

The festival was born. That first year, 2014, it lasted just four hours with 13 bands playing on Broad and Hodges streets. A few hundred people attended, and all the musicians played for free. The festival has grown every year since, with 2021 featuring 26 bands on 12 porches and a riverfront stage. An estimated 3,000 people attended that year during a rainy October weekend.

In the beginning, Dottie talked to everyone she knew and asked them to help, eventually marshalling hundreds of volunteers over the years. She led the effort to form a nonprofit organization with a board of directors to manage the festival. The board sought grants from organizations like the North Carolina Arts Council to help pay the musicians in order to keep the festival free to the public. Fundraising grew to include selling collectible buttons, Dottie’s idea, and merchandise, and obtaining sponsorships from local businesses – all with the goal of improving the musical lineup and growing the festival each year while keeping it free.

Of course, Dottie didn’t do it all by herself. She knew how to “hire” and delegate, and like a good teacher, she always gave others the credit and praise. She also insisted every year after the festival that personalized thank you notes be sent to everyone who helped in any way.

In her obituary, it was said that her students back in Bay Shore had described her as “insightful, dedicated, challenging, and gracious.” For those of us who worked with Dottie, we were her students, too.

A final thought. As an English teacher from New York, Dottie did not adopt many ungrammatical Southern colloquialisms, but we’ll offer this one anyway:

You done good, Miss Dottie. You done good.


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Festival Buttons 2023

Admission to the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival is free, but financial support is needed to help with all of the administrative, behind-the-scenes work that goes on to keep the Festival going and growing. For a $5 donation, or more, you can purchase a 2023 Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival Button.

Purchasing and wearing a button is a great way to show your support for the Festival and to help advertise it. And they are also a collector’s item – get one each year. Buttons are available at Inland Waterway Provision Co, Nautical Wheelers, Oriental Deli & Subs, New Village Brewery, Marsha’s Cottage, Yawl’s Cafe, Studio 55, Village Hardware, Oriental Village Veterinarian and Village Health & Fitness.


Another great way to support the Festival is to become a Festival Sponsor. To become a sponsor, print an application found under the Get Involved section of this website. Fill it out and mail it to: Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, Donna Crothers, P.O. Box 775, Oriental, North Carolina 28571. The deadline is Sept. 1. Your sponsorship will be publicly recognized in the Festival Program.


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Accessibility Policy

The Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival is committed to ensuring accessibility for all. We are continually listening and learning from the disabled community in order to improve the festival experience for everyone, and striving to exceed accessibility standards.


In continually trying to make our event more accessible, we encourage you to contact us at info@olfrontporch.org for any accessibility-related needs. Additionally, if you have any questions about ADA policies or our services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


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Festival Buttons 2020

The festival board has decided to give away 2020 festival buttons at businesses around town as a sign of hope that the virus will abate and the festival will go on this fall, as scheduled. These buttons are usually sold for $5 apiece as a way to raise funds to support the festival. Admission to the festival is free.





Wearing a button is a great way to show your support for the Festival and to help advertise it. And they are also a collector’s item – get one each year. Buttons are available at Inland Waterway Provision Co, Nautical Wheelers, Oriental Deli & Subs, New Village Brewery, Marsha’s Cottage, Yawl’s Cafe, Studio 55, Village Hardware, Oriental Village Veterinarian and Village Health & Fitness.


Another great way to support the Festival is to become a Festival Sponsor. To become a sponsor, print an application found under the Get Involved section of this website. Fill it out and mail it to: Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, Donna Crothers, P.O. Box 775, Oriental, North Carolina 28571. The deadline is Sept. 1. Your sponsorship will be publicly recognized in the Festival Program.


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Parking Map

Several free parking lots for festival-goers have been designated around Oriental as indicated on the map below. Look for signs marking these lots. Parking is allowed along most streets in Oriental, except where prohibited. Courtesy Golf Carts will be running continuously along the route indicated below on Saturday. There are no designated stops. Drivers will stop to pick up passengers when hailed.

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Festival T-Shirts and Ball Caps

Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival logo t-shirts and ball caps are now available. Shirts are $25, $30 for long sleeve. Ball caps are $15.







Get a festival decal/bumper sticker for just $2:



2022 OFPMF bumper stickers, buttons, t-shirts (short and long sleeve), and hats help fund the festival. Shirts, hats and bumper stickers are on sale during the festival at the Festival Command Center and Information Booth in the Village Market, South Avenue and Freemason.

You also may order logo merchandise by contacting Trish Mead at 252-675-9818, or trishmmead@gmail.com.


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Festival Buttons

Admission to the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival is free, but financial support is needed to help with all of the administrative, behind-the-scenes work that goes on to keep the Festival going and growing. For a $5 donation, or more, you can purchase a 2019 Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival Button designed by local artist Marguerite Garrett.

Purchasing and wearing a button is a great way to show your support for the Festival and to help advertise it. And they are also a collector’s item – get one each year. Buttons are on sale at Inland Waterway Provision Co, Nautical Wheelers, Oriental Deli & Subs, New Village Brewery, Marsha’s Cottage, Yawl’s Cafe, Studio 55, Village Hardware, Croakertown Coffee, Oriental Village Veterinarian, Wit’s End and Village Health & Fitness. You may also contact Ned and Ann Albee at 252-249-7249, or at nedalbee33@gmail.com. Buttons are $5.


Another great way to support the Festival is to become a Festival Sponsor. To become a sponsor, print an application found under the Get Involved section of this website. Fill it out and mail it to: Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, Donna Crothers, P.O. Box 775, Oriental, North Carolina 28571. The deadline is Sept. 1. Your sponsorship will be publicly recognized in the Festival Program.


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