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Located in Mount Ida (Montgomery County), the Montgomery County Front Porch Stage (MCFPS) is a nonprofit organization that produces free music concerts on the lawn of the Montgomery County Courthouse. Officially incorporated in 2013, MCFPS is governed by a five-member board of directors and raises money to provide musical instruments and equipment to schools in Montgomery County.
The original idea for building a stage came from musicians and friends who were meeting on the courthouse lawn on Saturday afternoons to visit and play music. The stage started with a donated flatbed trailer, donated lumber, and volunteer labor in the summer and fall of 2000. Soon, a covered stage was constructed on the eastern side of the courthouse lawn, with a snack bar building on the west side. A sound system was donated to MCFPS, making concerts for the public possible starting in 2001. Other improvements followed as the years passed.
The Front Porch Stage produces free “lawn chair concerts.” Concerts are scheduled weekly from the first Saturday in May through October, though they are subject to cancellation for inclement weather. The musical genres represented include country, bluegrass, blues, folk, folk rock, and gospel, with a special emphasis on original music. Money donated in a “pass the hat” collection is given to bands that perform. Sales of souvenirs, snack bar profits, and donations make up the general revenue that is used to support the musical programs in the county’s schools. An all-volunteer staff operates the stage, as well as the Back Porch Kitchen and the “Possum Store.”
Through 2016, Possums Unlimited, an auxiliary of the MCFPS, organized the Possum Queen Race and Possum Picnic and Parade, an annual fundraising event that included the coronation of a Possum Queen. These events took place each September at the Front Porch Stage.
For additional information:Montgomery County Front Porch Stage. http://frontporchstage.org/ (accessed July 20, 2016).
Jerry Babbitt Montgomery County Front Porch Stage
Last Updated 10/14/2016
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