The heart of Baltimore’s Reservoir Hill neighborhood came alive on Saturday, August 5, 2023, as the St Francis Neighborhood Center (SFNC) hosted its 18th annual Reservoir Hill Resource Fair and Music Festival, affectionately known as ResFest. Move Junk of Baltimore proudly partnered up with SFNC and donated their dumpster for the event, so all trash could be properly disposed.
ResFest: A Community Celebration
ResFest, held at German Park on Linden Avenue and extended into the 900 block of Whitelock Street, was more than just a festival – it is a testament to community spirit. The festival has grown from its humble beginnings into a significant event that bridges the gaps in this neighborhood, once a thriving commercial strip that fell victim to urban challenges.
Connecting Communities Through Resources
Every year, they host a food distribution supported by local organizations and So What Else. They gave away 100 meal vouchers for community members, who participated in the ResFest Passport. The ResFest passport is offered to all attendees, who would like to participate in a free backpack/school supply giveaway. Attendees must get a stamp from each of the 10 vendors to qualify. Once the attendees visited 10 resource vendors, they are able to go to the giveaway center to acquire the meal ticket, backpack, and/or sports equipment. The sports equipment giveaway is supported by Leveling the Playing Field.
The kids and adult were entertained with plenty of yard games in the kids corner, including cornhole, giant jenga, inflatable bowling, hula hoops, and a giant tic-tac-toe. A special treat was the Next Level Gaming Truck, where attendees could board and play popular games on major gaming console systems.
Supporting Local Businesses and Young Entrepreneurs
This year, ResFest takes a step further in supporting the local economy by hosting a Vendor Village. Small businesses and local artisans were invited to be part of this initiative, contributing to the economic growth of the area. In a bid to encourage young entrepreneurs, SFNC has waived fees for all youth vendors, making it easier for them to participate and showcase their talents.
A Day of Entertainment and Music
ResFest promises a day filled with entertainment for all ages. The festival’s musical lineup featured local talents, such as Nikki Acoustic, The Lucky Few and The Remainders, and a dance performance by Moving History, leading up to the headlining act, The Jonathan Gilmore Project. DJ TNT, an instructor at SFNC’s afterschool and summer program, kept the music flowing as the festival’s emcee.
For adults, ResFest offered a chance to relax with an array of beverages, including beer from Guilford Hall Brewery, the festival’s official beer sponsor. A portion of the proceeds from beverage sales benefitted SFNC.
Community Partnerships: The Key to Success
ResFest is a testament to the power of community collaboration.The Friends of German Park and Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, co-organizers of the festival, played a pivotal role in making this event possible. Additionally, WYPR/WTMD were the official media partner of ResFest 2023, helping to spread the word and amplify the event’s impact.
ResFest is more than just a music festival – it was an interactive, coming together of neighbors, who had plenty of food and entertainment. From 11:00-1:30, attendees explored a diverse array of resources and services, all within their neighborhood. Information on employment, education, homeownership, legal services, healthcare, and more were readily available, thanks to community partners dedicated to making a positive impact.