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Hopkinsville event to celebrate region’s diverse food scene during emancipation celebrations

About 700 community members attended last year’s Taste of the Town event.
Vansauwa's Tacos and Vegan Eats
About 700 community members attended last year’s Taste of the Town event.

A Hopkinsville food truck company is celebrating the diverse culinary offerings of western Kentucky Saturday.

Helmed by husband and wife duo Desaepa and Zirconia Vansauwa — owners of Vansauwa's Tacos and Vegan Eats — Taste of the Town will feature 11 other Black-owned vendors offering food sales and business insight to the community throughout the day outside of Hopkinsville Brewing Company.

Last year’s event brought out eight vendors and about 700 attendees. Confirmed vendors from western Kentucky and northwest Tennessee this year include Big Papa’s Hickory-Smoked BBQ, Honey Bee’s Bakery, Her Sweet Fix, Janae’s Italian Ice, On the Fly, Zilla’s Pit BBQ, Ms. Mollies Eats and Treats, It’z a Philly Thing and Detroit Soul.

Vendors will set up along East Fifth Street from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST.

“Taste of the Town is an event that highlights the Black food scene of the region,” Desaepa said. “We try to give a platform to those lesser-known community favorites, and then give information and resources to those who may be in the industry but may be lacking some things as far as knowledge of permits, where to set up.”

Local branches of State Farm and Planters Bank are sponsoring the event to help vendors identify relevant insurance policies and donate a business checking account, respectively. A sanitation tent will also be set up to familiarize vendors with health department regulations.

The event also happens to fall on the weekend of the Eight of August — when many Black people in western Kentucky celebrate freedom from slavery — which Zirconia noted is not entirely coincidental.

“We kind of want to highlight the freedom that comes with owning your own business,” she said. “I know that’s really important to my husband to have something that’s ours. Having that freedom as a young Black couple, young Black business owners, really opens the doors for us to build the life that we want.”

Dustin Wilcox is a television production student at Murray State University. He graduated from Hopkinsville High School in 2019.
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