Juneteenth Vendors Leimert Park

Juneteenth celebration at Leimert Park: crowd, culture and vegan food

The Juneteenth Festival in Leimert Park has had a unique atmosphere in South LA for forty years. Hosted in the Historic Leimert Park Village on June 18th and 19th, the park serves as an illuminating setting to an abundance of art, music, and enterprise within its domain. I stopped by on Saturday, June 18 to experience the variety of entertainment, food, and goods the festival presents. 

Black culture was alive and well among the long lines of vendors framing the streets surrounding the park. To my delight and surprise there was a generous helping of vegan food vendors among the food vendors and food trucks – a welcome site to this long-time vegan.

Below are photos that my colleagues and I took that offer a glimpse of the crowd, culture and small vegan businesses found at this year’s celebration that I enjoyed.   

The celebration drew a great crowd

Event goers strolled through Vernon Avenue as they experienced small business booths from the South LA and Watts community. 

Open air small businesses

Open air small business stretched as far as the eye could see. Over 40 of them are VSEDC clients, who received permitting assistance ahead of Juneteenth to legitimize their sidewalk businesses.

Hughs Hot Bowls!

Hamilton Augustine stands in front of Hugh Augustine’s vegan eatery, Hugh’s Hot Bowls. I ordered the tacos, which were fantastic!

Mushrooms are key ingredient at Champignon Eats

Champignon Eats, a vegan eatery specializing in tantalizing “chikin” sandwiches made out of mushrooms. You don’t knock it once you try it.

Black-owned food trucks along W 43rd Place

A long, colorful line of Black-owned and run food trucks, including Wholly Mother Vegan, which serves up fungi-base “chicken” sandwiches. For dessert? Happy Ice offers delicious vegan frozen treats.

Color, arts and crafts everywhere

The festival attracts many small businesses, the majority of which were open air businesses with beautiful crafts for sale.  

The Main Stage on W 43 and Crenshaw Boulevard

This year’s event featured musical guests Alex Isley, Masego, Buddy and more who delighted the packed crowd on the main stage on Crenshaw Boulevard.

Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC) celebrated too

VSEDC set up shop just outside of Wah Gwaan Jamaican Restaurant and Bar, a client of ours, to meet small business owners at the festival. Our team introduced folks to our small business services such as free business classes and affordable CDFI loans.

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