When you think of brunch, good food, good vibes, nice outfits and, of course, mimosas come to mind. While all those factors make for good fun for you and your friends, Morgan State University alumnus Tarrance Taylor wanted to take that experience a step further.

While in college, Taylor worked as a DJ and sought out events he could host that hadn’t been seen or done before, specifically catered to the Black brunch experience in Baltimore. “What would a brunch utopia look like?” he thought. What started as experimental mimosa tastings in his apartment became the idea for his own undertaking that would fill the void in Charm City: MimosaCity.

MimosaCity started six years ago in an art studio in downtown Baltimore with about 300 people in attendance. The event served as an opportunity to highlight brunch culture for Black people — which is not just a meal but a daylong celebration with a family reunion feel ― while giving them the opportunity to network, too. Since its creation, MimosaCity has expanded to other major cities like New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., gone international by making a splash in Jamaica and, in some cases, quadrupled its attendance with more than 1,200 people showing up at their largest parties.

Given the growing success of the brand, Taylor thought it was time to move onto bigger and better opportunities: turning his event into a festival.

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The inaugural MimosaCity Festival will take place June 8 in Baltimore at Hammerjacks. Festivalgoers can expect a day of fun filled with interactive games, food trucks on-site, different vendors selling a variety of merchandise options, free giveaways, contests and live music. There will also be a VIP section where ticketholders will receive stage access, complimentary meals and more. Tickets can be found here.

While MimosaCity Festival is pegged as the “the ultimate champagne celebration,” Taylor wants attendees to take away more than the food and party atmosphere — he wants this to be a learning opportunity for the 21 and over crowd. “With champagne being a wine, I want people to learn more about wines or how they can expand their knowledge on what wine tastings are and what pairings go with certain foods to make the foods richer or the champagnes richer,” he said.

To help him bring this experience to life, fellow Morgan State alumnus, A. Thomas Lampkin will serve as festival director. Lampkin is no stranger to curating spaces for hundreds to thousands of people: He’s been working with music festivals since the late 2010s, starting with rapper J. Cole’s Dreamville Fest.

Lampkin said his goal is to elevate Taylor’s vision through new concepts that match the growth of the MimosaCity brand from just an event to something bigger.

“Something I’ve learned very early on is what we’ve done got us to this point but it won’t get us to the next point. And so I hope people come to MimosaCity Festival and experience something different and something they haven’t seen before,” Lampkin said.

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Lampkin, who said he was often one of few Black people working in the music festival scene, shares and understands Taylor’s vision behind this event and using it as an inspiration to provide opportunities for other Black creatives to collaborate and operate in, especially in Baltimore.

“Being able to give back in this way is important … not even just to help bring economic revenue and stability [and] structure to the city, [but] also opportunities for people who want to work in the space,” Lampkin said.

A. Thomas Lampkin, MimosaCity Festival director (right) and Tarrance Taylor, MimosaCity Festival founder (left).
A. Thomas Lampkin, MimosaCity Festival director (left) and Tarrance Taylor, MimosaCity Festival founder (right).

Both Morgan State alums credit their time spent in extracurriculars and networking at the university to the successes in their individual careers. After nearly 18 months of planning, the passionate curators hope their “passion project” will bring this experience to a city they feel deserves it.

“I want people to recognize in Year One, this is the foundation that we’re setting for how this is to move forward. And after Year One, the sky is truly the limit,” Lampkin said.

And for Taylor, it’s only the beginning. “I don’t want this to be a one-year thing,” he said. “I want this be something Baltimore calls a staple and something we have for years to come.”