The Kentucky Derby is much more than just the 2 minute horse race that takes place on the first Saturday of each May. For the city of Louisville, it means a massive celebration which consists of two weeks of festivals, events and parties.
For Louisville’s black community – one of the more anticipated events is the Slice of Louisville. The “Slice” is an annual event that showcases Soul Food, black fashion & entertainment. Slice is an official Kentucky Derby Festival Event and is the only one of its kind that takes place in Louisville’s predominantly black West End.
Historically, the event has taken place under tents on the parking lot of St. Augustine’s Church on West Broadway but due to poor weather conditions over the previous years – Slice relocated indoors this year, to the Kentucky Center For African-American Heritage.
The event took place on Saturday April 30, 2016, from 6pm – 9pm and allowed patrons to sample Soul Food & beverages provided by prominent chefs, restaurants and caterers from Louisville’s West End and other areas of the city.
Several local African-American vendors had their products on display – including Robyn C. Stuart – CEO of DbBourbanCandy LLC.
Small boxes of Stuart’s chocolate “Bourbon Balls” were placed on every table at the venue – giving partygoers the opportunity to sample the product at no-charge. DbBourbonCandy produces a variety of edible candies that are available at retail outlets throughout the state of Kentucky.
“These Bourbon Balls and other candies that we make are available at Kroger stores as well at the Kentucky Derby Museum.” – Robyn C. Stuart
Several local politicians also attended Slice. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer walked out to a standing ovation and took a few moments to address the crowd while waving his hand “side to side” to the music.
“I’d like to say, what a great time to be in a wonderful city and what a great time to be here at the Heritage Center. Everybody, Happy Derby Week – Just enjoy it like nobody else does in the world. I love you guys… God Bless You.” – Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer
Democrat Barbara Sexton-Smith, who is campaigning for the 4th District Metro Council seat which represents much of Louisville’s predominately black West End, Smoketown, Downtown and Shelby Park, was also in attendance.
“I love coming to events and hanging out with the people of Louisville. I always have a great time. I’m not a stranger to the people of Louisville… They know me well and know that I love them and this city.” – Barbara Sexton-Smith
One of the highlights of the evening were the spectacular musical performances from the Unlimited Show Band. Their renditions of Alexander O’Neal & Cherelle, The Gap Band, and Maze ft Frankie Beverly were outstanding – but they brought the house down with their “Purple Rain” tribute to the late Prince Rogers Nelson.