By Andrea Macko, Special to the Journal
The volunteer-led live variety show that became a Sunday night Stonetown summertime staple is making the leap into winter with a Christmas special this Sunday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.
Show host – in the sense that he hosts the show and his porch is the show’s stage – John Stevens, says that a member of the production crew came up with the idea over the summer, and it snowballed from there.
“I suggested we could do it in Town Hall, but everyone said no – the Front Porch Show has to take place outdoors on the porch of 96 Robinson Street,” says Stevens, acknowledging the fact that an audience may not be so willing to attend in December as they may have during a balmier month.
As such, Steven says “people should bundle up, but we’re Canadian and can deal with any weather.” This Sunday’s show begins at 6 p.m., an hour earlier than the summer season, and pre-show entertainment begins at 5:30 to literally warm up the crowd.
Viewers, whether live on location or watching live via Facebook, can expect to be warmed by the show’s signature local mix of information and entertainment – this time, with holiday flare. The owners of Troyer’s Spices will have a cooking segment, and there will be many musical numbers – including a new original song composed by Frank St. Germain, who created a local earworm with “Home St. Marys” during the summer.
The show’s regular features – Alternate Facts, Community Calendar, and live commercials – will be part of this weekend’s lineup.
Facebook users may have seen Stevens’ requests for a donkey, llama and other assorted animals – Stevens is mum on exactly how this menagerie will appear on the show, but he will say that “we’re trying to make the show capture the Christmas spirit as much as possible.”
The Christmas spirit will also be evident through a Salvation Army kettle at the show. Additionally, Stonetown Coffee Co. will be selling warm drinks and seasonal snacks, with proceeds going toward the kettle.
“The Front Porch Show is put together by a dedicated group of volunteers who seem to perform miracles every episode,” says Stevens, noting that they’ve sorted out the technical bugs of broadcasting a live show during the dead of a winter’s night. While a second summer season of the show is already in the works, Stevens hopes the Christmas special will become an annual event for the entire town.
“What better way is there to celebrate a Canadian Christmas than getting together outside on lawn chairs in warm clothes with friends and family,” he muses. “Since it will be streamed live, it will be a great way to show the whole world what wonderful community spirit we have here.”
“Of course, you can watch it on the Internet from the comfort of home… but you really need to come in person to get the full experience,” says Stevens