Last summer, my daughter and I attended the 6th Annual Harrisburg Music Festival at Reservoir Park. As a recent transplant from Pittsburgh, it was great to see the tremendous talent that resides in Harrisburg, and in Central Pennsylvania overall. As a staunch music lover (and part-time rapper and saxophonist) I jump at opportunities to engage my daughter with music that is positive and meaningful.
This year, the 7th Annual Harrisburg Music Festival was repackaged and rebranded as part of The Weekender, a three-day, free public community event held August 17-19, 2018. The Weekender was presented by Levels Ready Entertainment, Harrisburg Housing Authority, The Singer’s Lounge, and the City of Harrisburg.
With the discussions of access to public art, we often think of murals or sculptures; however, music is something that can be embraced immediately and fully by every human being. A 2016 study by West Virginia University found that listening to music is just as beneficial to a person’s health and well-being as meditation.
So, in essence, this means simply walking down the street and hearing music pouring from cars or storefronts will actually improve one’s health. Interesting, though I’m not surprised.
In addition to the 7th Annual Harrisburg Music Festival on Saturday at Reservoir Park, The Weekender included the Harrisburg Housing Authority’s Community Day at Hall Manor, which featured health screening, giveaways of school supplies, and an open mic event. It capped at Reservoir Park with The Singer’s Lounge Family Cookout featuring R&B singer Bobby V. and a Unity Community 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament that was presented by Star City Community & Arts, a community organization that specializes in youth and young adults.
Events like The Weekender are great because they welcome everyone to participate and grow. The cohesion that music offers is outstanding for people and the communities in which they reside. Even if a person could not physically be present at The Weekender, perhaps a few whistling notes made their day a little better.
Jamar Thrasher is a Pennsylvania-based writer who often writes about youth issues and is the owner of Kennedy Blue Communications, a PR firm which focuses on youth organizations and youth initiatives. His work has appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PennLive and the New Pittsburgh Courier. He lives with his young daughter, Kennedy.