I missed last year’s event … not this time. Dan and I braved the perfect, sunny, mid 70’s weather to give VEGfest a go. If you see the title of the event and think it’s a day of vegan food trucks and your imagination stops there … you would have been delighted by the events, demos, speakers, music, food and exhibitors.
In there 3rd year of hosting this event Bethlehem was a wicked buzz. Like it was not easy finding parking. I’ll break the event down like this…
- easy to find: right in the heart of Bethlehem and just off the 22 exit
- easy to navigate: there were themed sections of exhibitors and speakers/demos/music
food court – farmers market – health corner – animal haven and mind/body/spirit
- large variety of vendors: I can’t think of what should have been there that I could not find
We started in the animal area, where in between vendors there were doggie drinking stations. Non-profit animal safety groups were represented from the Cat Shack, Shark Angels/Fin Free PA to the Pig Placement Network. Representatives were eager to answer questions about animal care to steps you can take to, as one t-shirt read, “give a cluck, go vegan.”
Here are some pages I’d suggest you check out.
- FriendsOfAnimals.org great content with a vegan starter guide, cookbooks and relevant animal rights discussions.
- United Poultry Concerns there are many links here but be sure to read the story of Viva the Chicken Hen who inspired the author to create the United Poultry Concerns (I will tell you that though some topics are relevant there are graphic images on this website)
- VeganRealEstateGuy.com yes, there was a real estate agent there WHO is vegan. He was just a plain ol’ pleasure to speak with. Authentic ya know. He was giving away vegan lip balm and tips on how to re-use pallets. I think I like him. He has a facebook page and posts vegan-ish things, if you are interested.
- Lehigh Valley Vegetarians I super love these guys. Check out there website for link, potluck info and recipes.
- MercyForAnimals.org inspiring compassion is what they are about with links, stories and a free ezine with recipes and living tips
- AmericanVegan.org ezine and resource page with a topic of helping kids cook tips
Plain and simple there was information everywhere. In case you are not aware, there are many reasons people go vegan or vegetarian. Reasons vary from the greenhouse effect, animal cruelty, health benefits, cost saving or just personal preferences. If you are on the fence ask questions.
Before I introduce you to the food… isn’t this just a nice area where folks sat to nosh & chat while enjoying the music?
Now on to, in my humble sweet tooth opinion, the show stopper…and they needed to be on corner at the end of an aisle (which is where they were located) because they were flippin’ packed. Swamped. Folks want their vegan/vegetarian food to look familiar and these folks took it up a notch. These sweets were a tease. When you look up “food porn” this is what you see. More than that you would not know what you savoring is vegan. As an egg hater I thank you, Vegan Treats. Vegan Treats is no secret to the locals but they also cater to the Philly, NYC and Balto metro areas.
I’ll show you what I mean… grab a black cup of coffee or some milk because just looking at these desserts will give you a sugar rush.
Told ya so. I don’t lie about sweets…especially when they are egg free.
Here is a list of all the food vendors.
I found comments, on the VEGfest site, by attendees about the food vendors rather interesting. I get it…people are passionate and I’m not diminishing that. At all. Some want more organic options, more green packaging, more food vendors, vendors to print using soy based ink on “green paper” and so on. There are not lots of organic food vendors to even source from for an event like this, I only saw “green” packaging being used, this event was promoted as a Vegan Festival and there are soooo many related platforms that you can never please everyone at a Vegan festival who’s expectations might be that it is a Sustainability festival. We should be thankful that these event organizers did such an amazing job pulling together so many wonderful exhibitors.
It was actually powerful to see food vendors, who might prepare meat at other events, adapt to a Vegan Event. Isn’t making vegan or vegetarian food adaptable and not some big mystery what it’s about? You can’t knock people who are willing to come to the table because they don’t print their business cards using soy ink.
Anyway, I’m getting off my soapbox now… here are the list of food vendors! All the food looked amazing.
Back Door Bakeshop
Vegan Treats (well you already know what I think of this vendor)
The Pizza Wagon – Biergarten (the line was too long here or I would have bought one to take home but a gal let me take a pick of her pizza)
Fud Truk Lehigh University Dining Services
Hellertown Deli and Pita House (think this is the place where I got the MOST amazing falafel wrap!)
Jenny’s Kuali (sadly, these vendors had a fire at their station…their website looks amazing and may be a reason to take a road trip back to bethlehem)
V-lish Vegan Soup Company (this looked really good)
The last section, based on how you entered the festivities… I saved the best for last…, was the Farmer’s Market. Here is the list of those vendors.
Marcy’s Granola (amazing granola! not only the flavor but the options. So pretty too like a colorful kaleidoscope of granola)
Truly Pure & Natural
Zukay Live Foods
Lehigh Valley Kombucha
Franklin Hill Vineyards
Linda Louise Pulse Desserts (have you never had a Pulse Pod? then you, my friend, are missing out! love these pods)
Do yourself a favor and make a note for 2014 the VEGfest.