Photo Essay: From Parsons Street to porches: College Hill celebrates two artsy traditions

The+Block+pARTy+and+Porchfest+promote+art+and+community+to+College+Hill+residents.

Photo by Patrick Hansell

The Block pARTy and Porchfest promote art and community to College Hill residents.

Art lovers had a busy weekend on College Hill with the celebration of two long-standing creative traditions: the Block pARTy and Porchfest.

Last Saturday, the Lafayette College Arts Society hosted its 18th annual Block pARTy, a celebration of creativity and school spirit along Parsons Street. 

“We do like to claim that it’s one of Lafayette’s favorite fall traditions. A lot of people in the Art Society really look forward to it,” Art Society advisor Allison Quensen Blatt said.

From creating pet rocks to brushing up on their dance skills with the Salsa Club, students and their families enjoyed an array of activities sponsored by various organizations on campus. The event also featured strolling magicians and free gear for fans to bring to the Lafayette vs. William & Mary football game that took place shortly after.

Besides the artistic activities, partygoers indulged in free food from local venders, including Don Juan’s and the Quadrant. There was also live music from three Lafayette a capella groups and two student bands. Additionally, alumni, faculty and students were invited to display and sell their art. 

“It was a huge rebound from last year because everybody was still kind of tentative in the immediately post-COVID [time],” Quensen said. “This year was a nice bounce back. We had a lot of people there.”

To round out the weekend, on Sunday, music lovers gathered around various College Hill residences to celebrate the third annual Porchfest. The event, which was first held in 2018, is advertised as an afternoon of music and community.

Twenty-six porches acted as a stage for 47 different musical acts, including over 80 musicians. Walking from house to house, patrons could listen to styles of music such as indie rock, African style drumming, Broadway music, folk songs, classical music, electronica and more.

The PorchFest festivities concluded with community members taking to the streets for a parade led by the Big Easy Easton Brass band.