Scorch on the Porch offers live tunes, great food

Warming up the crowd Members of the Brody Buster Band will provide the tunes for this fall’s first Scorch on the Porch. It will be the group’s encore performance at Washburn – they played at the university this spring to rave reviews.

Richard Kelly

Students who don’t have any plans for lunch on Thursday should head over to Scorch on the Porch.

A staple at Washburn since 2002, the event is basically a festival that features food and beverages, a live band and sidewalk sales from the Memorial Union Bookstore. Other joint projects often take place during the program. Held at Washburn about three times each semester, each Scorch on the Porch has a different theme.

Kathy Reser, director of the Memorial Union, said many students attend the program every semester, and they really seem to enjoy the experience.

“I think people now understand it’s a good time to go outside and have some fun with good entertainment,” she said.

This week’s Scorch on the Porch is scheduled to take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the Union lawn. The menu will include the “Ichadog,” – a grilled quarter-pound, all-beef hot dog – as well as chips, drink and a cookie. The meal costs $5, and students and faculty can pay with their iCards.

Live music will also be on hand. In the spring, the Brody Buster Band performed at Scorch on the Porch to rave reviews, so organizers are bringing the group back this year.

The band consists of Chris Handley on bass, Tommy Dimmel on drums, and Brody Buster on harmonica, guitar and vocals.

“I got a lot of feedback from the students about [Buster], and for that reason he’s going to be our band again,” said Reser.

The forecast calls for mild weather for this week’s Scorch on the Porch, but the weather factored into the origin of the program’s name. During the very first Scorch on the Porch in ’02, temperatures were scorching hot, and organizers decided to name it in honor of the week’s high temperatures. Since then, Scorch on the Porch has developed other names as inside jokes for days when the weather isn’t exactly “scorching.” For instance, names like “Freeze in the Breeze” are thrown around on cool weather days. And the silly names don’t always depend on the weather. After spring break one year, the event was jokingly called “Spring Broke.”

Menu and theme ideas have not been fully developed for this semester’s Scorch on the Porch. People who have ideas for bands, theme or menu items are encouraged to talk to the Memorial Union office.

“We’re always open to ideas,” said Reser. “If a student has a band they want us to listen to – and maybe book – we’re really open to that.”

Now that the program has established itself as a university tradition, Reser said she has had time to reflect on the program. Since Scorch on the Porch has become an event that students and faculty recognize and support, she hopes the tradition will be a long-standing one.

“It’s as if the students and faculty have come to expect it, and that’s the success of a lot of programs,” she said.  “If you develop something and you just keep going with it, before long, something grows out of it. It’s been fun watching it grow, and each year it’s a little bit different.”