The Inglewood Sunshine Festival is back. For the first time since 2019, the annual event showcasing small businesses welcomed hundreds of guests when it returned to the southwest community on Saturday.
“Oh, it’s an integral part,” said Inglewood Pizza owner Maria Sagumaran. “It brings people who otherwise might not come to the community down here to try all the different products.”
Pizza Inglewood has been serving hot pies to the community on Ninth Ave for over 25 years. However, for two of those years, the pandemic brought a time of uncertainty.
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“It was a bit difficult for us,” Sagumaran said. “We were lucky enough not to have to close because we only ran home delivery, but other businesses in the area are very happy to have people coming back.”
For seven hours beginning at 11 a.m., Ninth Avenue was closed to cars from 11 St. to 14th St. as more than 200 vendors displayed their wares and services.
In addition to vendors, the free family event features street performers, live music and plenty of activities for kids.
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Event organizer Jennifer Rempel said after the two years many of these small businesses have gone through, it’s really important now to highlight these businesses, especially “the small businesses that have managed to stay open for the last two years.”
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“And hopefully you can come down and discover a new one and maybe come back in a few weeks and see another one,” she added.
The Inglewood Sun Festival is now 27. Inglewood Pizza has never missed a year, while other businesses like Canela Vegan Bakery & Café are getting their first taste of what Sunfest is all about.
“It’s kind of exciting,” said Andie Amaya of the bakery. “We’ve been involved in the Inglewood community since we opened just last year, and it’s also a lot of fun interacting with other businesses,” she added.
Since COVID-19, the word community has come up a lot, especially at Sunfest. And even some guests called such events “the cultural fabric of the city”.
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