It is nice to relax a little today because yesterday was packed with SacTown VegFest – whew! The few days leading up to it where pretty packed at work, so I kept things simple at home with tofu stir fries, easy lunch from Pho Vegan Asian Cuisine, and sharing with my lap buddy.
And we stayed home Friday night to relax a bit before the crazy day, so I whipped up Explore Asian Organic Edamame Spaghetti with a creamy ginger miso avocado sauce for a simple meal that tasted a lot better than it looked.
Yesterday was SacTown VegFest 2019 and it was a long and wonderfully busy day for me. I was there all day helping out wherever I was needed and just in awe of how much this VegFest has grown since it was re-launched in 2016. Sacramento has a bumpy history with VegFests starting with the very small ones at a cramped community center in an iffy part of town with terrible parking in 2012 and 2013.
In 2014 another company decided to take over the event, re-brand it as Sacramento VegFest and host it in the extremely hot summer at a hotel that no longer exists. It was also a criticized event for having non-vegan speakers and they didn’t bring it back the next year, so Sacramento was lost without a VegFest. That’s when the Sacramento Vegetarian Society decided to take it over again and re-brand it as SacTown Vegfest and had the first and successful SacTown VegFest in January of 2016 at a smaller, but nice and new community center.
In 2017, the event was upgraded to a larger location in Sacramento and grew with more attendees. In 2018, we had it at the same venue, but it grew with new food vendors and parking, restrooms, and presentations were cramped. Despite that, the organizers wanted to have it at the same venue this year because it would allow us to keep free admission for the event. Well, that venue fell through just months before VegFest which ended up being a blessing because we got a much, much nicer venue at the McClellan Conference Center with plentiful free parking, huge restrooms, and much better rooms for cooking demos and presentations. We had to charge $5 admission for it, but that was totally worth it compared to what I’ve paid at other VegFests. I think most would agree $5 is worth to not have to spend 30 minutes to find parking and wait 15 minutes for the restroom.
This year, SacTown VegFest looked and felt like a much more established event which was really exciting. I started getting involved with it in 2016 doing logo design and graphic work really put more into social media and the website this year. I have big plans for the web site and promotion next year, I just need more time – haha.
I arrived before it opened for last minute preparations and took in the large vendor area during setup and caught up with great friends from the vegan community.
After running around for a bit, I took an early lunch break before my shift checking in visitors and collecting money. Lunch started out healthy with simple heirloom beans and rice from the Chili Smith food booth, but I was so tempted to hit Southern Fried Vegan.
My lunch took a more splurging turn when I couldn’t resist the Peanut Butter Vegan Gelato from Conscious Creamery.
The new vendor area was great, such an improvement with open space and room to navigate around crowds, but still being warm and inviting with carpet and better noise control for cutting echo and background noise so attendees can chat more. See, I’m learning more about choosing good venues. And we had a great time chatting and catching up with friends from the vegan community and meeting new people.
I could have easily spent more time and money wandering around and trying new goodies.
Hannah of BitterSweet Blog did an awesome cooking demo! And it was packed!
One of these days I’ll actually get to meet and chat with her in person. We’ve just missed each other at so many vegan events it’s crazy. I saw her come in while I was running around and got to pop in on her demonstration, but she was gone when I finally had time to slow down. Ugh! But her demonstration was great and very popular. And one of these days we’ll hang out! How about a lunch date at The Butcher’s Son?
And there was so many great vendors, great shirt designs, vegan purses, cosmetics, and food I could have easily spend hundreds on.
And so many booths for great vegan activists groups passionate about animals, the environment, and health that were very popular too.
I spent a few hours checking in guests chatting with them, directing them, answering questions, etc. which was a little exhausting for this introvert, but also great to get to know who decided to attend and why, and get info for making next year even better. By the end of the day I was spent, but in a great way. My parents and sisters made it and even a co-worker with his family who wasn’t interested in a plant based lifestyle not that long ago which was awesome. I was even recognized by a few people from my blog and social media accounts, that was cool.
And it was nice to chill a bit today after such an exciting day and get to the list!
- Okay, I like Ugg-style boots, for winter slippers and winter dog walks. But the selection of good vegan options, well, suck. The luxo brands are usually insanely expensive and aren’t available in my size. Bearpaw just announced a vegan line! So tempting….
- This lawyer decided to go into the vegan sweet business instead and I love that.
- We can now get vegan sweet potato “honey”, yum.
- Food tech is turning more people vegan.
- First vegan fashion week in LA!
- Vegan make-ahead lunch ideas.
- Trader Joe’s has new vegan sunflower cups, yes please.
- Delicious vegan air fryer recipes.
- I am looking forward to trying this fitness app.
- Vegan wing recipes for the Superbowl.
Linda from Veganosity says
The VegFest sounds like a lot of fun. We had to miss the one in Chicago last year, but we’ll be there this year.
Shoot, I wish I had known about the Vegan Fashion Week in LA. I’ll be there tomorrow through the 2nd.
It was and so exciting to see it grow. And that’s great about LA, I hope you have a blast!
Laura ~ Raise Your Garden says
Christine ~ as much as I am veggie obsessed I have never been to a VegFest event. No doubt, I’d be watching every single cooking demo! I need all the help I can get. Agreed, 5 bucks is super reasonable fee to pay not to walk far =) I need to get to the local VegFest event in Buffalo this summer! Thanks for the inspiration.
Yes, the cooking demos and samples are so much fun and so many new products to learn about it, you’d love it! I’ve heard the Buffalo VegFest is great too.
Jennifer Bliss says
Sounds like a great time! Wish I could have gone with you!!!! I didn’t even go to ANY VegFests this year…or last year…I’m going thru withdrawal! YIKES! LOVE the look on Miko’s face! So sweet! And the food…YUM!
It was and I hope you can get to a VegFest soon! Thanks on the food and Miko is a sweetie.
Awww, I’m so glad you caught my demo, but I’m also bummed we didn’t chat! I was really looking forward to meeting you. I’m blaming jet lag and general exhaustion on this grave oversight, but that doesn’t make it better. I was so tired, it was the most I could do to cook and remain vertical the whole time. Yes, please, let’s do lunch! Name the date and I’ll be there. :)
Side note, what did you think of the presentation? At least semi-competent? Did you get to try the food? I still don’t know quite how it went from a viewer’s perspective!
Yes, wish I caught the entire demo! I figured, your trip looked amazing. You demo was great and everyone seemed to be really engaged. I did not get to try the food unfortunately because I had to relieve volunteers at the front, but it sounded amazing. Totally, soon on lunch! I need to make a trip to the bay area soon.