SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The annual Fall Fest sponsored by the Black Men of Greater Springfield will provide resources to connect families with resources related to mental wellness, financial assistance, and more on Saturday.

Each year the Fall Fest brings people together for a pre-Thanksgiving celebration, but since the Pandemic the event has been put on pause since 2020. Organizers were grateful to see so many people walk through the doors of the DeBerry Elementary School Saturday, after the hiatus. The event was held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and was free of charge and open to the public.

“It’s just about fellowship and coming together and just being happy and joyous after these two years of being stuck in a house and being fearful of not knowing what was going to happen,” said community activist Tashea Jenkins of Springfield.

The day’s events included free Thanksgiving meals, booths with information on resources related to both mental and financial wellness, lots of activities, and a winter coat drive.

William Zachary, President of the Black Men of Greater Springfield, said the event will include vendors providing resources for everything from mental health, housing services, and financial and tutoring services.

“Nothing’s for sale here, everything’s free today. the meal, food to-go for the holiday, warm coat and information about community resources,” added Zachary.

There were also 100 turkeys raffled off to attendees…thanks to assistance from some Hampden county elected officials.

11th Hampden District Representative Bud Williams told 22News, “we do realize that there’s a lot of need out here, a lot of hunger and certainly this would go a small way in making families happy.”

Organizers and attendees agreed that this kind of event is what the holidays are all about.

“I’m just excited that so many people did come out,” said Jenkins.

Sixth Grader Jaylen has some great advice for everyone, “Enjoy the people you’re around with.”

“Remember, this is a season for giving,” expressed Representative Williams.