Historic Florida Neighborhood Hosts "Porch Decorating Contest" to Get Residents Through Quarantine

Now this is an idea we can get behind!

Residents of Jacksonville’s historic Springfield neighborhood have come up with a uniquely Southern way of spreading a little bit of joy during the coronavirus pandemic: a porch decorating contest.

The event was organized by neighborhood residents Kat Ott and Leah Rose, who got the idea from a news story about communities across the country that have been re-hanging their holiday lights as a sign of hope and solidarity in these unprecedented times.

Porch Decorating Contest
Hannah Joy Photography

“I thought we should decorate as well, but with any theme at all!” Ott said in a statement to Southern Living. “It would give all the kids and adults now stuck at home something fun and creative to pass the time. And give everyone out walking something fun to look at!”

The only rule? Homeowners had to use what they already had on hand.

Springfield's first-ever quarantine porch decorating contest closed on Wednesday. In the end, nearly 40 families participated. Everything from hand-painted butterflies to giant Pac-Man creatures now dot the neighborhood’s tree-lined streets.

Residents also donated funds so Ott and Rose could buy prizes from local small businesses to help them out during this hard time. “So, it was a win-win for everyone!” Ott notes.

Voting, which is currently taking place on the event’s Facebook page, will conclude tonight at 9p.m. EST. There will be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner.

If you want to see the creations for yourself, Ott said she thinks the decorations will be up for a while.

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