Taste of Soul LA kicks off its eighth year this Saturday

Brionna Lewis

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This Saturday’s Taste of Soul Los Angeles is known as one of largest street festivals in the city. The annual event features all things “soulful” including food from local restaurants, live entertainment, and displays from local businesses and charities.

“I created Taste of Soul for our community. It is a day for family and friends to enjoy unity, food, and entertainment while celebrating our culture,” said Danny J. Bakewell Sr., founder and creator of Taste of Soul Los Angeles Family Festival.

For its eighth year, Taste of Soul is presented by the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, Radio Free 102.3 KJLH, and 94.7 The Wave benefiting two South L.A. charities, Mothers in Action and Brotherhood Crusade.

Mothers in Action was formed as a result of the 1992 civil unrest and aims to bring the community together. Made up of mothers, their focuses include helping the youth, elderly and less fortunate residents of the South Los Angeles community.

Brotherhood Crusade was founded in 1968 and is dedicated to raising funds and resources from within the community and strategically redistributing them back into the community where they are most needed. The Brotherhood Crusade has raised over $50 million in grants for programs and services in the South Los Angeles Community.

Taste of Soul not only supports local charities, but has a major economic influence for businesses in the community. The event is the largest assembly of black owned businesses in the city of Los Angeles. It gives local small businesses, most notably restaurants, exposure to the masses.

“It is my responsibility to provide this avenue that is an economic engine for businesses, a showcase for local talent, and a culinary contest for local food vendors,” Bakewell said.

This year’s Taste of Soul is expected to draw big crowds, with 50,000 people attending the very first festival in 2005 and 250,000 people in attendance last year.

On Saturday, the 8th annual Taste of Soul Los Angeles festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Crenshaw Blvd. between Stocker St. and Rodeo Rd. The event is free and open to the public.

More information can be found at: www.tasteofsoulla.org