A vendor talks with attendees of St. Francis Neighborhood Center’s ResFest in 2018. Photo credit: BeMore Photography/Jamie-Leigh Bissett, LLC

After two years of celebrating virtually, St. Francis Neighborhood Center’s annual resource fair and music festival will be back in person next week.

The 17th annual Reservoir Hill Resource Fair and Music Festival, or ResFest, is returning to German Park on Saturday, Aug. 6, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

During ResFest, attendees can listen to live music and spoken word poetry performed by local artists, enjoy Baltimore cuisine, and find resources for medical treatment, employment opportunities, education, and social services for free. ResFest also offers a kid’s corner for guests with young children.

Local band Jonathan Gilmore & the Experience will headline ResFest, with St. Francis Neighborhood Center’s DJ TNT serving as the festival’s MC. Other musical acts will include Fred’s Funk Band, Quinton Randall, and The Worthy Brothers.

Taharka Bros. Ice Cream will also be on site, offering free scoops to children.

New to ResFest this year is the addition of “youth booths.” Marked by orange balloons, these booths will provide resources, training, education, and employment opportunities to teenagers and young adults. 

The booths are meant to address the opportunity gap experienced by Baltimore youths, said Alicia Miller, St. Francis Neighborhood Center’s program associate and manager of the Igniter Intern program. 

The conversation surrounding opportunity gaps has been renewed in the wake of the deadly shooting of a motorist by a squeegee worker. Last week, Mayor Brandon Scott held a press conference in which he laid out his plan to address the controversy that surrounds squeegee workers, who are directly impacted by poverty and opportunity gaps in Baltimore City.

“It is our responsibility to take action to address the deeper issues upon which this tragedy was built,” Miller said in a statement. “At SFNC, we pride ourselves in offering a holistic approach through our programming and events. Our approach to connecting with our community members gives us an opportunity to not only foster relationships with them but to fully show up and provide the best resources for them.”

St. Francis Neighborhood Center said in a press release that the youth booths are not a catch-all solution for Baltimore City’s opportunity gap, but they are one step in addressing some of the issues Baltimore youths face.

Another new resource offered at ResFest will be the LifeBridge Health Mobile Clinic, which will provide free COVID-19 vaccines, booster shots, and pediatric services from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

As guests leave, free backpacks stocked with school supplies will be available to take home, as well as free groceries. 

Community Engagement Manager Angela Miller said “It’s been a long few years of existing largely remotely and we are excited to be able to reconnect with the RH community by bringing resources and community together to help meet the existing and emerging needs of the 21217. We hope to see you there to celebrate with us.”

Liv Barry is Baltimore Fishbowl's 2022 summer reporting intern. Barry is rising junior at Washington College, where she is majoring in communication and media studies and double minoring in journalism,...