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Conference on the Front Porch announces 2020 lineup

One of the first big post-shutdown events scheduled in Oxford is the 25th Annual Double Decker Arts Festival in August, but Lafayette County has second event planned the following month.

The 5th Annual Conference on the Front Porch will take place September 24 and 25 at The Mill at Plein Air in Taylor. The conference is sponsored by Garden & Gun Magazine and this year’s keynote speaker is southern storyteller Roy Blount, Jr.

Every year, the conference focuses on the importance of the front porch in the American South. Over the past five years, topics have included food, music, literature and storytelling; all have been explored in context with the front porch and all that it represents.

The two-day event is limited to 200 people, and with the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event comes a crucial time, according to conference director Campbell McCool.

“The timing of the 2020 conference is so poignant with the onset of COVID-19,” McCool said. “We’ve been mowed over with emails from people sharing stories of how they’ve reconnected with the neighbors and friends all on the front porch.”

Joining Blount as speakers this year are Mississippi Delta photographer Maude Schuyler Clay, cartoonist and writer Marshall Ramsey, philosopher Douglas Holladay, director of the Walter Anderson Museum of Art Julian Rankin and celebrated town planner and architect Eric Moser.

Along with the panels, the conference also includes field dinners, porch plays, concerts and tours of the Oxford area.

To register for the conference and for more information, call 662-234-3151 or visit theconferenceonthefrontporch.com. The event costs $395 to attend and includes admission to all panels and lectures, six meals, the play and the concert.