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.

Interview with Patrick Tullo

Wow – the inaugural Twin Cities Veg Fest is only a few days away! Can you believe how quickly the weeks are flying by? I know I can’t! As we continue to towards the big day, we will be bringing you more interviews with speakers, volunteers, and sponsors. Today I have an interview with volunteer, Patrick Tullo, for you – enjoy!

CAA: What is your role on the Veg Fest team?

I’ve had a minor role in helping to recruit speakers and exhibitors. Mostly, I provide legal advice and draft legal text for the event’s website and materials.

CAA: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I’m retired, but I still practice law occasionally for existing clients and cases involving animal protection issues. I enjoy bike riding, and I’m an avid tournament chess player and genealogist. Much of my time, between and now and the general election, is devoted to voter protection and the defeat of Minnesota’s anti-marriage-equality amendment referendum.

CAA: How did you get involved in planning the Veg Fest?

I’ve been vegan for 22 years and an animal rights advocate for much longer. At a CAA event last year, Suzy Sorenson mentioned Veg Fest and asked me if I’d like to be involved in the planning. I’d been wanting to do more with CAA.

CAA: What have you enjoyed the most so far?

I love being around the CAA leaders and volunteers. I’ve never met a more committed and effective group of people. It’s inspiring to see what this group has been able to accomplish.

CAA: What are you most looking forward to at the Veg Fest?

I want to see huge numbers of people flood the event, so that this year’s success will guarantee that there will be a Twin Cities Veg Fest every year from now on.

CAA: Who/what species is your favorite animal?

I’m partial to cats. My present family includes four rescues: Lazarus, Lela, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Subaru. They are my teachers.

Many thanks to Patrick for helping with Veg Fest and for taking the time to do this interview with us! There’s still time to volunteer your time or services for the event! Check out our Volunteer page to find out how!

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


Interview with Eddie Garza of Mercy for Animals

Today we have an interview with Eddie Garza, senior campaign coordinator at Mercy for Animals, a sponsor of this year’s Twin Cities Veg Fest.  For more information on MFA and their work to prevent cruelty towards farm animals, visit their website.

CAA:  What is your mission?

Mercy For Animals is a national nonprofit animal protection organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals and promoting compassionate food choices and policies.

CAA:  Why are you sponsoring the Veg Fest?

It’s an important event! Mercy For Animals proudly supports the Twin Cities Veg Fest and its mission to promote healthy, sustainable, and compassionate food choices.

CAA:  What are you most excited about at the Veg Fest?

We’re excited about the whole thing! It’s great to have a free event that offers lectures, food samples, information, resources, and a ton of fun. This Veg Fest will help open the hearts and minds of countless people to the health and ethical benefits of a plant-based diet.

CAA:  What do you see in the future for animal advocacy?

As more people wake up to the cruel and inhumane plight animals face on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, the number of vegans will continue to dramatically increase. To meet this demand, the market for products free of meat, dairy, and eggs will continue to expand and improve. We will see more states pass new laws outlawing some of the most abusive practices on factory farms, and more corporations will implement and improve their farmed animal welfare policies.