Sunday, September 13, 2009

September is festival month in DC! DC VEGFEST!

dc vegfest signSeptember is festival time in these parts--from Adams Morgan Day, to Black Luv Day, the list goes on. So I decided to head over to the DC Vegfest, held at GWU's campus, to see if I'd find out anything new. Not that I was going to purchase anything, as I had determined that it was to be a personal no-buy day. Not that there wasn't plenty of temptation to part with greenbacks, with such a wide variety of everything on display.

Well, there's always something new, or at least interesting, with such a variety of people attending and companies and organizations represented.

the vegfest public Local stores, such as MOM's Organic Market kindly handed over multiple samples of such treats as the Sheese with chives, fruit, etc., and a rep mentioned that they're looking for space to open another location, in DC proper.

Moms Organic Market table sign

Other stores, such as Pangea, were showcasing new items. One of the owners swore that I didn't miss this product when I popped in the store recently--the items below just came in this past week, 'cause I would have stared in open-mouthed wonder if I had seen these, especially the caramel!Pangea Vegan Products table stacked with canned vegan condensed milk and caramelPlenty of animal rights organizations were represented, such as the sponsors Compassion over Killing and FARM, smaller groups such as United Poultry Concerns, vegetarian groups such as the VSDC, the VRG, and, alas, PETA.
Compassion Over Killing table Unfortunately, I missed Michael Greger's talk, but he was gracious chatting at one of the tables. I also missed the bodybuilder (where had all the speakers gone?), but couldn't ignore his poster ...
vegan bodybuilder posterI'm not quite sure what stunt was going to be pulled after the lady in this costume went milling around the crowd, so I didn't wait to find out (although she's probably glad that this was a breezy day)...
lady in PETA pig costumeThere were also general local environmental organizations there, such as LiveGreen, which asked the following good question...

sign on LiveGreen tableThe rep explained that because so many new wind energy farms have gone on line in recent years, the price is now competitive with energy from other sources, and earnestly mentioned that switching to wind is an easy green thing that could make a big difference. Hmmm...

Local and regional eateries and establishments were represented, from Summer Delights to Sunflower to Senbeb Cafe, to other, newer outfits such as Toscana Green and a raw food education organization, Mojo Juice Club, which was the source of one of the status symbols of the fest, a fresh green coconut with a straw to suck out the coconut water.
festivalgoer holding green coconut Of course, it's all about the sweets, as there's great pent-up demand for vegan desserts. So, yes, Sticky Fingers Bakery was there, and its goods went out so fast as to be a blur. (But I got a coupon for a free cookie, so I'm not mad.) And Baltimore donut diva Emily's Desserts also had its treats on hand, briefly, as well as a preview for the upcoming dessert cookbook, aptly named...
Emilys Desserts cookbook cover The piece de resistance, however, was the drool-worthy table from Vegan Treats, based in Bethlehem, Pa., which had the longest line at the festival. Wisely, they seem to have brought a great variety of LOTS of desserts, a good thing, since they disappeared quickly enough. (Happily, a rep mentioned that a rep comes to DC on Fridays to deliver orders. Plus, its prices seem quite reasonable as listed on the brochure.)
individual pumpkin pie at Vegan Treats table
various treats at the Vegan Treats table

more sweets from Vegan Treats

Oh my! A fittingly sweet ending to a great event. Hope it's bigger and better next year!

* * *
To and fro the festival, on the subway, were plenty of protesters (protesting what, do tell!) with the signs and all, behaving civilly on the Metro. Perhaps the subway being an unfamiliar experience for many of them, as well as being around plenty of people of color while there, presumably another unusual experience for many of them, temporarily put such people on their better behavior (e.g., you couldn't see what was on most signs while there); however, the atmosphere was tense. Such a marked contrast to the good vibes at the Vegfest.

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