FYI:

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 2021

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 2021 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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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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Village Market & Food Park

The Village Market is where you will find artisans selling their arts, crafts and wares, and the Food Park, which features local nonprofit organizations teamed up with area restaurants to offer a variety of “grab and go” food items.
The Village Market is located at Lou Mac Park. The Food Park is just across the street, adjacent to the Labyrinth.

Click here for The Food Park Menu


St Thomas Episcopal Church will feature handmade fabric crafts and household items. Check out what these creative ladies have made.


Barbara Moore will bring her pottery to town. There will be a wonderful selection of hand turned and formed items which will make beautiful holiday gifts.


PAWS will be selling tee shirts and gifts for you to support our furry friends. Help contribute to this wonderful organization.


Jeanine Gilles will be joining the vendors to offer her handmade jewelry. She has been busy this year with some new designs.


The Oriental Woman’s Club will be on site to sell tickets to their dessert of the month raffle. Buy tickets for a chance for some yummy treats.


Michele Rodriguez CVA will be in attendance to demonstrate Animal Reiki treatments. Michele offers pet sitting for dogs, cats and horses.


Kristina Baum will be displaying and offering her hand made quilted and embroidered items. Take a good look at her free-standing lace pieces.


Our favorite alpaca lady will be back this year. Stop by Lou Ann Sekely’s booth for something soft and soothing. A great place for soft stuffed animals.


Michele Schaffer, owner of Senebet Schaffer, has beautiful paintings to hang on your walls.


Michael Walker will be bringing some of his Intarsia (inlaid wood) wall hangings. Very creative and beautiful.


Neanderthal Pottery will be in attendance with interesting ceramic items for your house.


Get ready to join in the music making and stop buy to see Tom McElroy’s hand painted Celtic drums. Tom is also playing on a porch. Come by to hear Tom tell you the interesting history of his drum designs.


Pottery By Samplyns Lynn DeChesser showcases ceramic arts for patio, home and garden. Her emphasis is on flowers, fish, and feathers.


B. H. Livinggood Photography Photography prints.


Alice Giro Alice will be here with her creations.


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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 $20, $25 for long sleeve. Ball caps are $15.






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



2021 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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Get Involved

There are many ways to get involved and become a part of the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival Team. You can participate as a performer, vendor, sponsor or volunteer. Applications for each form of participation are linked below. Complete the application and send it in and become a part of making the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival a success.


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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival


What do you do with donated money? Where does the money go?
In addition to routine operating expenses such as liability insurance, accounting, theater and tent rentals, the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival provides

• live musical performers, story tellers, clowns performing at the annual Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, free and open to all
• advertising and marketing to promote local musicians (and the Town of Oriental!) regionally and statewide
• a scholarship each year for a member of the Pamlico High School Marching and Symphonic Band to attend an out of state competition,
• musical groups to perform for free at special events like the 2017 Cycle North Carolina three-day Coastal Ride event, the 2016 grand opening of the local Piglet grocery store and its first anniversary in 2017
• musical groups to perform for free at the Oriental Rotary Club’s annual three day In-Water Boat Show

Our Board and volunteers work hard in the following three areas with specific emphasis on offering opportunities for seniors, for at-risk youth and our Hispanic neighbors:

1. Provide the region’s multi-cultural and racially diverse musical talent with encouragement, support, and venues to perform

2. Provide and promote these events to the local and regional public to
(a) come see and listen to live music
(b) learn about the region’s rich and diverse musical heritage, and
© bring economic benefit to local businesses and the broader area

3. Build and improve community relationships, bring our diverse neighborhoods together, lessen community tensions and prejudices, bridge cultural, racial and generational divides by engaging broad community support and volunteer opportunities
Are you a non-profit and is my donation tax deductible?

The Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, Inc., is a nonprofit with tax-exempt status under Section 501©(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. With the IRS designation, contributions to the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Donations can be made to OFPMF at PO Box 775, Oriental, NC 28571. Our Federal Employer Tax ID number 47-4931628.


What is your mission?
Our mission is to organize musical and educational events 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.


What is the history of the Festival?
Founded 2014 by Dottie and Dick Osmun and Leslie Kellenberger, this year is our 6th Annual Festival. Its roots are in music played on the porches of Oriental, decades ago:


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