ResFest is back with music, food and a new feature: resources for young people

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 announced.

The 17th annual ResFest is scheduled to take place this Saturday (August 6) from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at German Park, 2413 Linden Avenue.

As always, the free event aims to provide community members in need of support with a way to access services, as well as a chance to come together for fun and fellowship.

Jonathan Gilmore & the Experience, the headliner of this year’s ResFest, will be joined by other local artists including Fred’s Funk Band, Quinton Randall, The Worthy Brothers and St. Francis Neighborhood center DJ TNT, the MC of the festival.

Organizers are touting Taharka Bros. ice cream. (free for kids) and encourage parents to drop kids off at Kid’s Corner while they enjoy food, music, spoken word artists and over 50 resource vendors.

There will be information on employment, education, home repairs, home ownership, investing and health 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, boosters and pediatric services.

Tackling the youth crisis

New this year will be the festival’s “Youth Booths”. Marked with orange balloons, the booths will offer resources, training, education and job opportunities for teens and young adults.

Explaining this peculiarity, the organizers invoked the recent “national controversy [that] erupted following a fatal altercation between a motorist and a squeegee worker in downtown Baltimore.

This incident, the St. Francis Neighborhood Center said in a press release, “has drawn renewed attention to the plight of young people affected by lack of opportunity and poverty and, at the same time, a renewed commitment by the SFNC to fill this gap”.

Located south of Druid Hill Park, the community of Reservoir Hill covers nearly half a square mile and lacks essential resources and services, the statement continued.

“A few blocks from our center, you can find one of the intersections that many of our young adults see as an opportunity to work and support their families. While many of us have pleasant encounters with squeegee workers, we recognize the tragedy that occurred on July 7, 2022,” said Alicia Miller, Program Associate and Igniter Intern Program Manager at SFNC, which serves and employs older youth.

“It is regrettable that such events resulted in the death of Timothy Reynolds. However, this tragedy is another indicator of how our city continues to disappoint our young people,” Miller continued.

“It is our responsibility to take action to address the deeper issues on which this tragedy was built.”