On May 7th, hundreds of vegan and veg-curious folk descended upon Cleveland for the city’s 3rd VegFest event and, let me tell you, it was AWESOME. The first two years were held in the student center of CSU and it was cramped quarters… like, don’t go there if you have anxiety in crowds in the slightest. The food was great, the vendors were spectacular, but the location was not prime.
So, imagine my wonder and awe when I walked in to Cleveland’s spankin’ new convention center and saw this:
The Cleveland Vegan Society really outdid themselves this year – especially considering they took last year off to save up and prepare for this year’s event. All the green curtains are vendors and blue curtains are foods, foods, foods! In the far left corner was live music and a play area for kids and an escalator ride up were presentation rooms with a who’s who of vegan activists, authors, and other presenters.
While perusing the aisles and aisles of incredible, veg-oriented businesses and non-profits I stumbled across a booth for Goods & Evil, a clothing company with fucking awesome alternative culture shirts with a vegan twist. I picked this one up for the SO:
And this one for myselfs! *ahem* Yes, this shirt is photo shoot worthy.
At the booth I met a lovely young lady who drove all the way from Detroit for the event. She joined me while I nom-ed on a black bean taco and a sweet chili tofu taco from Barrio and we discussed all things vegan. (The tacos were bomb, by the way). I think the most amazing part of vegan events – even more so than the outstanding food – is the ability to walk up to just about anyone and connect with them instantly over the power of the vegan lifestyle. It’s swell, really.
The marker of a successful VegFest is when vendors begin running out of food hours before closing time. Anywhere else I would find myself annoyed, but I was delighted to hear that people were drinking up all the kombucha, devouring all the tacos, and gobbling up all the vegan ice cream.
My swag included “chocomint” body butter from The Fanciful Fox, Rocky Road cookies from Poisonberry Bakery, mini sugar and chocolate chip cookies from Vegan Sweet Tooth, chocolate covered pretzels from I-don’t-remember-where, and…
A lemon cream cheese danish from Metro Croissants!
I’m so proud of my neck of the woods for putting on a spectacular event. Can’t wait until next year!