For practically the entire past month I have been counting down until the Triangle Vegfest arrived in North Carolina. I probably was more excited about this than anything else that has happened so far this year. There were so many vendors and stands and people, it was absolutely incredible. After spending an amazing weekend at the festival, I realized that a lot of people may not know what to expect when they get to one. So I thought it would be fun to do a bit of a Vegfest guide along with my own experience at the Triangle Vegfest.
Before I get into my actual experience of Vegfest, I definitely need to share my two huge pieces of wisdom for what you should definitely know before going to a Vegfest. Don’t I know how I suffered the first day because I didn’t do these.
Get there early
Not only is it easier to park but most Vegfests will allow people to roam around prior to the actual start time, which will give you a chance to check out all of the stands and understand the natural flow of them before loads of people come in and add to the confusion. Also, a lot of the time free stuff is given out in the very beginning and who doesn’t love a goody bag!
Bring a small back pack
Every stand you go to will have at least one paper item for you to take away and although that might not seem like a lot, multiply it by a hundred and you will have a mountain of business cards piling up in addition to any things you end up buying while there. By putting stuff in a backpack you will be hands free to handle products, eat, and even pet a pig. I’ll talk about that later.
A huge part of any Vegfest is being able to sample loads of different vegan recipes and products. Depending on the size of the festival, you may get more local restaurants and options to choose from if it is smaller or more brand name/sold-in-store items if your festival is on a much grander scale. Triangle Vegfest is about a small to mid size event so there were restaurants but also several local businesses that have their stuff in a few stores already. In preparation for the amount of I was going to consume, I skipped breakfast. I know it isn’t good but I definitely made up for it later. The amount of cupcake and dessert stands that were there was incredible. I think I probably bought about five desserts but had to stop myself from getting anymore. Desserts aside my absolute favorite thing was the Sunflower Spreadat the Viana stand. It was too good and I probably could have eaten the entire jar with just one of those wooden spoons. I highly recommend getting it to try out on everything you possibly can!
Now after seeing all of those pictures, I can’t possibly not talk about the desserts I ate while there. So… here is my list of shame from a weekend at Vegfest.
– Chai Cupcake from Ada’s Cupcakes
– German Chocolate Cake from Dee’s Kitchen
– Tropical Pineapple Carrot Cake from The Flour Pot
– Pumpkin Bar from Ninth Street Bakery
– Chocolate Cake with Vanilla frosting from JP’s Pastry*
– Lemon Bomb Cupcake from Taylor Street Sweets
It’s a lot. I know. But they were all so good! The one though that stands above the rest was the cake from JP’s Pastry. Not only was it absolutely delicious in general, but it tastes exactly like the signature cake from a non-vegan cafe in Minnesota that I use to eat all the time and have been missing a lot. But JP’s proved my faith in vegan bakers to be right. Anything can be made vegan and still remain delicious.
Next up is the stands. I was amazed at the wide variety of stands that were at Vegfest. I knew their would be food stands but I never thought that there would be so many clothing and beauty product stands. It was incredible to see so many different products and actually being able to have choices instead of simply having to settle. There were also several stands that were offering services such as a CSA or one that had loads of interesting information on veganism and studies surrounding the lifestyle. My favorite part about these stands was that everybody was a very like minded person and so everything felt super welcoming and comfortable and I could practically ask anything and they would be more than willing to answer and talk to me. Plus one of the stands even had a pet pig named Ziggy that you could hang out, pet, and take pictures with.
Now when you hear the phrase Vegfest, you may think it is simply going to be a bunch of weirdos or out-there people singing kumbaya and eating weird looking foods. It is most definitely not that. In addition to the food and stands, I was surprised how many things there were to actually do or watch while there. There was coloring and craft spots for kids, several different bands, speakers, and even silk performers right by the food trucks. Talk about dinner and a show.
My favorite thing to watch ended up being the silks, which switched in between being the actual silks and a hoop. They both were absolutely incredible and made it look so effortless. It made me want to be able to do just half the things they could, but I probably would fall on my face if I tried. I even ended up talking to both of them for a good twenty minutes after they finished. They were super interesting to listen to. If you ever get the opportunity to talk to one of these performers, do not let it pass you by! It’s worth it!
Even though my Vegfest season is over you all should get ready for a lot of the Vegfest seasons to start up because tons of activities and events are popping up everywhere and will probably be somewhere fairly close to you.
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