Last Sunday was a day for both great fun and knowledge at the Twin Cities VegFest held at Harriet Island Park.
People coming from far and wide were able to enjoy the day with an array of vegan food vendors ranging from Indian, Korean, and sweet cuisines. In addition to all the plant-based food products, VegFest included musical guests and trails filled with dogs roaming about.
This year’s Twin Cities VegFest was the seventh annual event held since 2012. Compassionate Act for Animals (CAA), a non-profit organization, presents the festival every year. VegFest is sponsored by animal-friendly organizations and local businesses, such as MetroTransit.
“It really is a festival for everyone,” said Bonnie Russell, a volunteer who has been in the scene for roughly 10 years,
VegFest is completely free. Russell said the entertainment options are suitable for everyone: newcomers, long-time vegans, or those curious about the taste of plant-based food. The festival is filled to the brim with vendors of all backgrounds.
In addition to a diverse food selection, guests- divulged in activities and educational booths provided by other organizations.
One such organization was Bailing Out Benji, an awareness organization that helps shine a light on the number of pet stores who buy their animals through puppy mills. PlantPure Communities, which researches and educates others of the effects of a greener and healthier community, was another business that had a tent at VegFest. There were also some tables offering vegan products ranging from all sorts like soap to clothing and more.
Although VegFest is relatively new to the Twin Cities, it’s well attended.
“Get there early! The event… is very busy,” said Syndey Holets, a Hamline senior and vegan.
Holets recommends bringing along a water bottle to fill up throughout the day at the ‘hydration stations’ the festival has set up especially for that reason.
Holets has gone to VegFest for the last two years and expressed how much fun she has each year.
“… Don’t be afraid to try new things,” Holets said. “Even if you aren’t sure what food to try, lots of places have free samples where you can get a taste.”
Holets also highlighted some of the popular hotspots like Reverie, J. Mobile, and The Herbivorous Butcher (word on the street is that their cheeze curds are amazing).
At the end of the day, after the fun and all the photos, Twin Cities VegFest had a purpose to raise awareness of the growing community around veganism and the true reality of factory farming.
They strive to bring such knowledge through each event they hold, and CAA is always open for more minds to contribute to their cause. Visit exploreveg.com to learn ways to begin volunteering and even how to start a vegan lifestyle. As the Twin Cities VegFest continues to grow, the community surrounding it is always ready to educate and advocate.