The largest street festival on the West Coast returns for a day of food, family and fun
Excitement is building throughout L.A. as people anticipate the 17th Annual Taste of Soul Family Festival, set for Saturday, October 15, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Crenshaw Blvd., between Stocker St. and Obama Blvd.
The free daylong event – presented by Bakewell Media and famous for showcasing the best of food, entertainment and shopping in the Southland – will offer more than 300 vendors, top recording artists, and the Beer Garden, operated by KBLA and Mothers In Action. Also, the awe-inspiring Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Gospel Stage highlighting choirs and choral ensembles will return along with the ever-popular Children’s World featuring games and activities for young people.
Another added attraction is the Bakewell Media Sounds for the Soul Stage presented by Chevrolet in partnership with 94.7 The WAVE and the Radio FREE 102.3 KJLH Sound Stage will be back with amazing entertainment! And, brand new features this year: the Bakewell Builds Better Communities Pavilion and Digital World sponsored by Microsoft and powered by Tec Leimert.
Calling Taste of Soul “the biggest and baddest block party in all of Los Angeles,” Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., TOS creator/founder, extended invitations to the greater Los Angeles community to plan to spend the day “on the ‘Shaw” and experience the “incredible uniqueness of South L.A.”
“Taste of Soul is an event that your whole family can enjoy because it provides such a wide range of products and services – from food to clothing to housing assistance, educational information and leading music acts,” explained Bakewell.
“Thanks to the overwhelming support from our corporate sponsors, community members, small business owners and elected officials, we can present a free, first class event for the people of South Los Angeles that includes great fun along with much-needed information to improve our health and finances,” he noted, referring to the number of booths manned by various healthcare agencies providing on-site screenings and other stands hosting representatives of local banks.
Taste of Soul has grown tremendously since its beginnings in 2005. Over the years, attendance ballooned to nearly 400,000 people in 2019 traveling from throughout the Southland as well as 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 was distributed to families and individuals in need.
“The evolution of Taste of Soul has simply been about the care for Black people and wanting the best for our community,” insisted Bakewell, who also expressed appreciation to the corporate and community partners uniting with Bakewell Media to present the free event.
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 McNeill Wyatt Purcell and Diggs.
Sponsors include Transportation Partner and Premiere Sponsor: Metro, JPMorgan Chase, Presenting Vehicle Sponsor: Chevrolet, HPP Cares, Microsoft, Destination Crenshaw, SoCalGas, SEIU 2015, LADWP, Metropolitan Water District, West Basin, US Bank, Labor Partner: Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, AT&T, Boeing, USC, Bank of America, LAWA, Private School Village, Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, California Black Power Network, MidFirst Bank, Southern California Edison, Lee Andrews Group, One Legacy, Elite Auto Network, Self-Help Federal Credit union, The Commerce Casino and Hotel, and Learn4life.
Among the healthcare sponsors are Watts Health, Crenshaw Community Health Center, Kaiser Permanente, Cedars Sinai, Providence, MLK Community Healthcare, Charles Drew University of Science and Medicine, ConcertoPACE, and W. King Health Care Group.
To learn more, visit tasteofsoulla.com.