More than 300,000 people attend Taste of Soul every year. (File photo)




The Taste of Soul Family Festival is fast approaching, and people throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area are gearing up to attend the biggest block party on the West Coast. 

Now being presented for the 18th consecutive year, the daylong event returns on Saturday, October 21, with top entertainment, health information, shopping selections and an array of cuisines from nearly 100 food vendors. As in past years, several high schools, college bands and dance teams will perform at TOS, which extends along Crenshaw Boulevard from Obama Boulevard to Stocker Avenue. 

“Mark your calendar to come out to the largest free festival in Southern California,” said Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., TOS creator/founder, who has witnessed more than 300,000 people attending TOS every year. 

“Taste of Soul is a multigenerational event offering activities for everyone in your family such as electrifying music stages, health testing, job opportunities, networking prospects and practically every type of food you desire or can imagine,” Bakewell declared. 

Fun, entertainment, shopping and more are available at the free festival. (File photo)

He also commended the corporate sponsors, community members, small business owners and elected officials who united with Bakewell Media to present what he described as a “free, first-class event for the people of South Los Angeles that includes great fun along with much-needed information to improve our quality of life.”    

Vendors in that category include representatives of local banks and various healthcare agencies providing on-site screenings.  In addition, TOS will feature popular attractions including the Bakewell Media “Music for the Soul” Soundstage, Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Gospel Stage, the Beer Garden operated by Mothers In Action, and Children’s World featuring games and activities for young people. 

Taste of Soul has grown tremendously since its beginnings in 2005.  Over the years, attendance ballooned to nearly 400,000 with people traveling from throughout the Southland as well as from Nevada and Arizona. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Taste of Soul pivoted to sponsor a Community Day of Service in 2020 and 2021 where free clothing and food were distributed to families and individuals in need. Last year, the festival resumed as an in-person event. 

Nearly 100 food vendors offer an array of cuisines. (File photo)

“The evolution of Taste of Soul has simply been about the care for Black people and wanting the best for our community,” noted Bakewell.  

Taste of Soul partners consist of The Bakewell Company, Los Angeles Sentinel, L.A. Watts Times, Mothers In Action, Brotherhood Crusade, 94.7 The Wave, County of Los Angeles, City of Los Angeles, LAUSD, 102.3 Radio-Free KJLH, CBS/KCAL Los Angeles, Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall and the Law Offices of Ivie McNeil Wyatt Purcell and Diggs. 

Top entertainment acts perform at Taste of Soul. (File photo)

Sponsors include Metro, Chevrolet, City National Bank, Southern California Automobile Club, SEIU 2015, Pasadena City College, US Bank, Cedars Sinai, AT&T, Anthem Blue Cross, Verizon, Blue California, Private School Village, Center for Health Care Rights, The Commerce Casino and Hotel, SEIU Local 721 and Long Beach Civil Service Commission and more to come. 


This energetic music group captivates the crowd. (File photo)

Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are still available, added Bakewell. To learn more, visit