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Food, family and entertainment highlight South L.A.'s Taste of Soul Festival

Food, family and entertainment highlight South L.A.'s Taste of Soul Festival
The annual Taste of Soul Family Festival on Crenshaw Boulevard draws thousands for food, live entertainment and works by local artists. (Angel Jennings/Los Angeles Times)

Thousands of people took over the streets of South Los Angeles on Saturday for the annual Taste of Soul food festival.

The event, celebrating its 11th year, drew people from all over Southern California who came to enjoy live music, soul food and camaraderie.

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For many like 41-year-old Ericka Glenn, the gathering was like a giant family reunion.

"I see kids from the old neighborhood that have now grown up," said Glenn of West Covina.  "I love it."

Burnell Land, 50, of Rancho Cucamonga shared a paper umbrella with Glenn as they shaded themselves from the unrelenting sun. Every year they arrive early, scout out a good spot to watch the performances and plant their folding chairs in the middle of Crenshaw Boulevard.

The Taste has become a longstanding tradition for many black families, whose attendance seems to increase even as the African American population of Los Angeles has declined. .

Herman and Kathy Perrodin came out and met a new friend, trading stories and laughs with Patrice Ross, who had ordered catfish and chicken wings from the same Southern food spot.

"It's really good when you can come out with your people and enjoy yourself," said Herman Perrodin, who lives in Harbor Gateway.  "It's all unity and love."

The Taste is taking place on Crenshaw Boulevard from Rodeo Road to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and is expected to continue until 7 p.m.

Musical guest Jazmine Sullivan and others are expected to perform

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