Thanks For Making The Veg Fest A Success

We held our first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest on Saturday, July 14. It was a smashing success!

Thanks to the exhibitors for providing great vegan food and resources:

Thanks to the 50 volunteers that helped out on the day of, put up posters, stuffed bags, and told their friends about the festival!

We couldn’t have done it without the generous support of our sponsors.

Thanks to Lisa Mabley, Heidi Prenevost, and Nicole Riner for designing our print and online materials.

Finally, thanks to the committee who planned this event:

  • Brita Bengtson – Advertising Guru
  • Amber Buening – Whip Cracker (Volunteers)
  • Jeff Johnson – The Rain Maker (Sponsorship)
  • Shannon Kimball – Exhibitor Logistician
  • Unny Nambudiripad – CAA Executive Director
  • EG Nelson – Jill of All Trades
  • David Rolsky – Extreme Delegator (Committee Chair)
  • Suzy Sorensen – Raffle Wrangler and Speaker to Speakers
  • Pat Tullo – Legal Eagle and Speaker to Speakers

Photo by A Frame Forward.

Thanks for Coming

It’s hard for us to believe it’s over. After many months of planning, a few sleepless nights, and a lot of hard work, the first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest has come and gone.

We estimate that we had somewhere between 1,100 and 1,200 attendees. Several of our food vendors sold out of food, and several exhibitors ran out of handouts or food samples! We’re thrilled that so many people were interested in learning how they can change their lives to help animals.

We’d like to thank all of our volunteers, exhibitors, and sponsors once again. You made this a great event. See you next year!


Free Outdoor Yoga at 1pm

It’s in the program, but we just wanted to make sure people know that Justin Leaf will be offering a free outdoor yoga session (behind Coffman on the grass) at 1pm, weather permitting. Thanks, Justin, for offering to do this!

Veg Fest is Tomorrow!

After months of planning, the first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest is happening tomorrow! Join us for some delicious food, great speakers, a fun kids area, and an overall great time.

Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just curious about compassionate living, the festival is for you. Don’t forget, the first 180 or so people through the door get an special swag bag with extra food. But even if you come later, you’ll still find a lot of food to try. We’ll have free vegan samples of all sorts, including chocolate bars, peanut butter in many flavors, seitan, marshmallows, and much more. Don’t eat too many samples though, because we also have some amazing food court vendors.

We also have a great selection of non-food exhibitors including book sellers, t-shirt makers, jewelry, artists, a vegan cruise captain, and other.

We look forward to seeing you there tomorrow, Saturday, July 14th, at Coffman Memorial Union on the University of Minnesota campus.

Be Cool at Veg Fest

When we first started planning the festival, we debated whether to have it indoors or outdoors. Outdoors is great except when it’s not so great. Indoors is easier, but attendance may suffer if the weather is too perfect. We chose indoors because its our first year and we didn’t want to have add weather contingency planning to our planning.

Fortunately for us organizers, the weather will not be perfect, and having it indoors is starting to look prescient. It looks like yet another day in the 90s as a renewed heat wave starts up over the weekend. Fortunately for you, the festival is indoors. So you can enjoy all the great food, speakers, and exhibitors without sweating buckets.

If you like sweating buckets, you can grab some food and go sit outdoors on the grass behind Coffman. To each their own and all that. Far be it from us to prevent you from sweating buckets.

See you at the festival this Saturday, July 14th.

Come Early to Get More Stuff

Last night we stuffed a little over 1,000 swag bags for Twin Cities Veg Fest attendees. Every bag has some food, but there are about 180 bags or so with more food than the others, and the extra food is a tasty vegan dessert. We’ll be handing those bags out to the first people through the doors, so come early to get one.

Swimming in an ocean of bags


Help Us Reduce Waste by Volunteering at Veg Fest

We still need a few more volunteers for the Veg Fest on July 14. In particular, we need more people on the maintenance crew to help make sure we can compost as much waste as possible.

While almost everything at the event will be compostable, there will be a few things that need to go in the trash. Because of that, we need volunteers to monitor the compost bins and make sure they stay trash-free. If we don’t have volunteers to do this, we won’t be able to have compost bins at all, so this is a critical volunteer position!

We have shifts in the morning (9:45-1:30) and afternoon (1:15-5:00) available. Please email if you’re interested in helping out. You can help make the festival a great success!

The Amazing Veg Fest Food Vendors

We recently had a media preview event for the Veg Fest. Selected media representative were invited to come try out some of the fantastic food that will be available at the festival.

As a bonus, some of us involved in planning the event also got to try all this food. It was truly amazing!

In this post, I’d like to highlight our three food court vendors. All of these businesses will be at the festival selling their amazing food. They’ll be offering small portions, so you’ll be able to try more than one before you fill up.

Petrina Walters of Asase Yaa brought a true cornucopia of dishes. I could go on at great length about all of them, but I’ll pick a few highlights.

First, there was the potato salad. Forget the gloopy mayo-based salads of youthful picnics. This was a fresh, lively-tasting potato salad without any mayo. Just potatoes, onions, herbs, and spices. Delicious. Then there were the black-eyed peas. This was probably one of the best bean dishes I’ve ever tasted. It was very simple, just beans, spices, oil, and some sort of food magic. She also made an amazing greens dish, a tofu and vegetable stew, fried plantains, jollof rice with lentils, and some peanut candy!

Rebecca Irey from Pure Market Express brought three amazing, all vegan, all raw dishes. I loved the jalapeno poppers, fliled with a rich, creamy nut-based “cheese”. Her raw lasagna was also a delight. Layers of ultra-thin marinated zucchini, pesto, nut cheese, and tomatoes. These two dishes really dispel any misconceptions you might have about raw food. It’s not just roughage and sprouts. These two dishes were creamy, rich, herbal, and fresh.

Her piece de resistance was a cream pie that consisted of one layer of vanilla banana creme and one layer of chocolate creme. It was somewhere between cheesecake and mousse in texture, and sinfully delicious.

Finally, Seward Cafe sampled tofu pesto sandwich. It sounds simple, but it’s all about the execution. Perfectly grilled firm marinated tofu, fresh tomato and sprouts, and a vegan walnut pesto that popped with basil. All of this was placed between slices of excellent bread.

I’ve gone to Seward for years, but I always order breakfast. Maybe next time I’ll have to try something else off the lunch menu. Clearly they know how to do more than just make amazing hash browns, biscuits, and gravy.

And this was just a fraction of the food we sampled. We had Tofurkey hot dogs, Field Roast sausages, Vegan Pockets, and Upton’s Naturals sandwiches too. I feel stuffed just thinking about it.

You might be getting jealous, but don’t be. You too can try all of this amazing food. Just come to the first ever Twin Cities Veg Fest on Saturday, July 14!