On Sept. 1st, 2023, Young Revolutionary Front (YRF) held their 3rd Annual Skate Competition and Mural Reveal event at McNamara Park, Merced. The event started at 6pm with warm greetings from YRF member Luciano. “Welcome everyone…We are the Young Revolutionary Front. We focus on building our power and develop our leadership skills…At the end of the day at YRF, we fight for what we want and for what our communities need.”
The event was meant to celebrate the murals done by artists Gamut and Mezcal and the efforts of the youth in this project. These murals were to celebrate the skatepark, a place for young people to safely come and congregate in a time where few spaces like that still exist. Antonio from YRF explained “We wanted a mural because it will make the skate park look nicer and make our community better…In the future, we want to improve the park with better lighting and water fountains, more art, and maybe expand it.” YRF was able to fund the mural thanks to the Youth Leadership Institute Fund, meeting with artists and the city of Merced in order to get the project started.
After the announcements came the reveal of the murals, a bombastic display as the skaters plowed through the yellow tape to pull away the paper and reveal the beautiful murals. YRF teamed up with Brown Boy Burger, a local food vendor, led by Eli and his crew to provide free burgers for the event. Plenty of people were there to celebrate. “The event started great, people were skating in the skate park…drinks [were] served and burgers being made…everyone was mingling and talking.” Says Neisha.
After some time mingling, the skate competition began. It first started with a skate jam, in which skaters show off their best tricks within the time limit of ten minutes. Afterwards, the top three winners were announced. First place, Vicente, won a board grip sticker. Second place, Ricky, won wheel stickers. In third place, Gauges, won bearings and a sticker. After the Skate Jam, there was a competition for highest ollie. The winner was Antonio Mcmary, who won a custom t-shirt as well as a sheet of grip. Overall the mood was joyous as the art and people behind it were celebrated, as well as celebrating a place for people to use and enjoy.