Skaters, dignitaries, and community members all came together inside the skateboarding area at McNamara Park this past Friday for the Young Revolutionary Front’s (YRF) Third Annual Skate Competition and mural reveal as a way to both empower the youth and support the valley skateboarding community.
This event was made possible through a $1,000 grant awarded to the YRF by the Youth Leadership Institute’s (YLI) Youth Fund based in San Francisco, as well as many young volunteers who worked hard to run the festivities.
Eventgoers and participants were able to enjoy music curated by Third Hour Collective (THC), free food and refreshments from Brown Boy Burgers, and even a free entry into a raffle. The event saw a notable rise in attendance from previous years, seeing well over a hundred people packed into the small park having a great time.
Various representatives and members of the YRF addressed the crowd and spoke about all the hard work that has gone into the skate park area and the surrounding community over the years.
Local mural artist Joel Aguilar (also known as Gamut) worked on new artwork for the skate park. He took time to talk about his love and passion for this community and encourage everyone to also do what they can to support the community.
Merced City Councilman Jesse Ornelas spoke about all the achievements of the youth leaders responsible for the skating event and gave out two certificates of recognition. One from the City of Merced to the Young Revolutionary Front for all the work that they have done in the community and the other from Assemblywoman Esmerelda Soria to the many youths and artists who worked on the mural for the skateboarding venue.
“All of the work that the young people in general have been doing in Merced — to really make this place their own — is showing,” Ornelas said. “It’s showing through with projects like this. We’re out here right now on a Friday night with probably 150 people out here, just being a community and enjoying ourselves. You know, there is a stigma about this side of town, and when we are out here like this, we show how rich the community actually is.”