A Newtown Tradition since 2000

2000 is the year it started.  The year the O'Malleys bought their house on Washington Street.  The Sowiaks were the first to host....

There used to be a block party on Washington Ave to celebrate the bypass completion. The street was closed for food vendors, live music on a stage, fundraising, lots of people from out of town, lots of committee work... and always a few disgruntled neighbors! Jim and Betsy Freud, who used to live in the O'Malley's house, were greatly involved.  When they were having a yard sale prior to their move, they asked Kati Sowiak if she would chair the block party.  She replied that she thought it was bigger than it needed to be, when really what we probably wanted was to just hang out on each other's porches and hang out with neighbors.  Romy Burkus, who was living in the Sowiak house at the time, said "let's call it porchfest!  I'll print up a schedule."  She did that for a year or two, but printing and distributing was a problem with all of the date changes. That's when Dennis O'Brien created the porchfest.com web site. Dennis used to get things rolling by passing around a sign-up sheet at Bob and Betsy King's annual winter party. 

The early days had lots of kids running around. Charles Warren used to bring his ice cream truck and sell lots to the kiddies.  The idea at inception was to be as inclusive as possible.   Today a mix of old and new families carry on the tradition of Porchfest!!