Seriously, best VegFest yet. I volunteered at the welcome table at the first-ever VegFest way back when, found myself flipping tempeh bacon for sampling at the second, and years later, having volunteered, attended and exhibited, I can easily say that 2011’s event was simply the biggest & bestest yet. Way to go, Northwest Veg! Like hundreds, if not thousasands, of other vegfolk, I was sad to see a few demos suddenly cancelled, but that was out of the hands of Northwest Veg, and as anyone who plans events can tell you, whether they’re planning grand festivals or tea parties for ferrets, stuff happens! Anyhow, while the attendance was through the roof – over six thousand throughout the weekend – people weren’t just stopping by to load up on samples, they were visited with a purpose: education. The classrooms were packed! No joke, I went to a demo 35 minutes early to grab a decent seat, and it was so worth it.
I spent most of the weekend behind the Vegan Iron Chef table (so if you saw a dorky gal in a dress with two black braids, yadda, yours truly), spreading the word about our plans for round 3 in Fall 2012, potential Pacific Northwest regionals (and beyond), and begging for volunteers with my awesome cohorts, but I did make a point to free up some time for a talk, a demo and a few strolls around ye olde VegFest, or shall I say, the new and improved VegFest. Aw, yeah.
- The people! I saw smiling vegans and the veg-curious every time I looked up from my biting my nails and chatting with my cohorts. I saw what seemed like every single vegan and vegetarian I knew from the state of Oregon! There were plenty of hugs, high fives & VVCers, galore.
- Meeting the sweet folks at EcoVegan.
- Even though I forgot to to pose with a mustache, yet again, it’s always fun seeing Nicole & Dan from Upton’s Naturals: the honorary Portlanders!
- The coconut creamer. There’s no turning back.
- Chicago Soy Dairy’s kick-ass prices on Teese and Dandies. The next step to creating my dream Smores pie is merely buying a blowtorch…
- Likewise with Earthly Gourmet: Holy, Soy Curls deal!
- Taking a break from sampling and deciding on a Veggie Combo from Sengetara for lunch on Sunday. It has been far too long since I’ve visited the restaurant, and this was a spicy reminder.
- Two words: GARLIC WHIP.