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Get Down With Dunbar

Dunbar/Spring Porch Fest, Sunday, Nov. 24

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Think of a block party, but spread over an entire neighborhood. Now you've got the basic idea behind Sunday's Dunbar/Spring Porch Fest.

Following up on the success of first Porch Fest, held in June of this year in front of homes in the Armory Park area, the fest is a coming-together of residents of the historic Dunbar/Spring neighborhood to host an afternoon of good music, good food, good people and good times. Essentially, the neighborhood will be opening its doors, or rather porches, to dozens of local musicians and bands who will play for free (although attendees are encouraged to bring some small bills to tip those playing). But the scope of the event goes beyond the reach of the neighborhood. This is a prime chance to support and discover local music.

"It's music for the community," said Dunbar/Spring resident and Porch Fest coordinator Karen Green. "A lot of the bands playing in our neighborhood actually live in the neighborhood. So they might not necessarily be a band that's out playing at a bar, but it's a couple of roommates who play together and they said, 'Sure we'll play on our porch!' (But) a lot of these bands do play out in bars and clubs. And so if you like them, hopefully you'll (keep) going to see them."

Acts playing the fest include rock act the Tangelos, New Orleans-influenced The Muffulettas, indie-folkster Maggie Golston among many others.

And the streets will belong to many of the deliciously authentic local food trucks that call Tucson home. If you happen to find yourself there Sunday, be ready for a surplus of sights, smells, tastes, sounds and conversations.

On top of this, from 11 a.m. through the end of the Porch Fest, the neighborhood will also be hosting the 11th annual Mesquite Milling Fiesta in the community garden. This event is dedicated to the integration of the mesquite tree into our food in the Southwest. If the idea of a mesquite pancake (made with mesquite flour) topped with thick prickly pear syrup makes your mouth water, you may want to stop by early.

Mesquite flour comes straight from the pods. And if you bring your own pods, three hammer mills will be on-site to grind them into your very own mesquite flour.

The fiesta is being led by Desert Harvesters, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of the desert ecosystem.

Maps showing the location of music, food, art and the Milling Fiesta will be handed out by neighborhood residents throughout the event.

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