MEDINA — The air was thick with humidity, but even more so with music Saturday, during the annual Rockin’ the Court on South Court Street.
The free family event featured several bands performing on porches, front yards and driveways of residents on South Court between Lafayette Road and West Park Boulevard. They played blues, folk and country, among other genres.
The South Court Historic Neighborhood Association, which promotes the preservation of historic homes in the South Court area, organized Rockin’ the Court, which included vendors selling popcorn, candy apples and hot dogs.
“It’s a great way to show off the neighborhood,” said Michele Nichols, an association member. “We want bring people in and get the old homes back to single-family ownership.
“So many of these homes have become rentals, some with up to three units,” Nichols said. “But in the last two years, at least four of them have reverted to owner-occupied homes.”
Annual neighborhood concerts are becoming more established across the country. In Chicago, an organization called Front Porch Concerts schedules performances in several neighborhoods. Iowa City hosted its fourth annual Front Porch Music Festival on Saturday, the same day as Rockin’ the Court.
Closer to home, the 10th annual Larchmere PorchFest, with “30 bands on 30 porches,” is planned for next Saturday in Cleveland, just northwest of Shaker Square.
But it was a neighborhood concert in Akron, the annual Highland Square PorchRokr Festival, that inspired Medina At-Large Councilman Bill Lamb to bring Rockin’ the Court to Medina. He attended PorchRokr for the first time several years ago, at the urging of his daughter, Gretchen Fri.
Lamb said Rockin’ the Court is an extension of a house-tour fundraiser the South Court association organizes every August. The money goes toward neighborhood beautification.
This year, Lamb, in addition to stationing a band in his front yard on South Court, set up a wine bar in his backyard. Money raised from the wine bar went to the association.
Nichols said it only takes a few weeks to organize Rockin’ the Court every year.
“The bands know it’s the same time every year, so they start emailing us about it,” Nichols said. “Some have to decide if they’re going to perform because they might have paying gigs lined up.
“But Rockin’ the Court is good exposure for them, and it could lead to paying gigs, and it has in some cases,” she said.
Messages may be left for Bob Sandrick at (330) 721-4060.