ResFest’s back with music, food and a new feature: resources for youth
After a Covid hiatus, the venerable Reservoir Hill event returns Saturday as an in-person community event
Above: Fun times in 2009 at the St. Francis Neighborhood Center’s annual ResFest resource fair. (Facebook)
After going virtual for two years due to the Covid pandemic, the Reservoir Hill Resource Fair and Music Festival, affectionately known as ResFest, is returning in person this year, the St. Francis Neighborhood Center has announced.
The 17th Annual ResFest is scheduled to take place this Saturday (August 6) from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. in German Park, 2413 Linden Avenue.
As always, the free event is intended to provide a way for community members in need of support to get access to services, along with a chance to get together for fun and fellowship.
Jonathan Gilmore & the Experience, this year’s ResFest headliner, will be joined by other local artists including Fred’s Funk Band, Quinton Randall, The Worthy Brothers and the St. Francis Neighborhood center’s own DJ TNT, the festival MC.
The organizers are touting the Taharka Bros. ice cream (free for kids) and encouraging parents to drop children off at the Kid’s Corner while they enjoy the food, music, spoken word artists and over 50 resource vendors.
There will be information for employment, education, home repair, home ownership, investment and healthcare services provided by local community partners.
The LifeBridge Health Mobile Clinic will be there from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., offering Covid-19 vaccines, booster shots and pediatric services.
Addressing Youth Crisis
A new addition this year will be the festival’s “Youth Booths.” Marked with orange balloons, the booths will offer resources, training, education and employment opportunities for teens and young adults.
Explaining this feature, the organizers invoked the recent national “controversy [that] erupted in the aftermath of a deadly altercation between a motorist and a squeegee worker in downtown Baltimore.”
This incident, the St. Francis Neighborhood Center said in a press release, “has brought renewed attention to the plight of youth affected by the opportunity gap and poverty and, alongside it, renewed commitment from SFNC to address that gap.”
Located south of Druid Hill Park, the Reservoir Hill community covers nearly half a square mile and lacks essential resources and services, the statement continues.
“Just a few blocks from our center, you can find one of the intersections that many of our young adults view as an opportunity to work and support their families. Although many of us have pleasant encounters with the squeegee workers, we acknowledge the tragedy that occurred on July 7, 2022,” said Alicia Miller, program associate and manager of SFNC’s Igniter Intern program, which serves and employs older youths.
“It is unfortunate that such events led to the death of Timothy Reynolds. However, this tragedy is yet another indicator of the ways in which our city continues to fail our youth,” Miller continued.
“It is our responsibility to take action to address the deeper issues upon which this tragedy was built.”