Charlotte Vegfest is back and bigger than ever

 By Shaun Bowman

September 1, 2019

Since 2011, vegans, vegetarians, and the veg-curious have come from all across the Southeast to hang out at the largest annual vegan event in the city, Charlotte Vegfest. What started from humble parking lot beginnings has blossomed into one of the Queen City’s most anticipated food events of the year. Charlotte Vegfest 2019 will be hosted at the Park Expo and Conference Center from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, September 7 and it’s slated to be the biggest year yet.

Curious about Vegfest? With such an enormous event, including more than 100 vendors, you might not know where to begin. Here are a few things to check off your Vegfest to-do list to ensure you have the best vegan-packed experience of your life.

Courtesy of Charlotte Vegfest

Early bird gets the goodie-bag

That’s right, the first 200 people in line when doors open at 11 a.m. will get their very own Charlotte Vegfest goodie bags, stuffed to the brim with more vegan samples, coupons, and swag than you’ll know what to do with. This year’s bags will be stocked with treats from Viva Raw, Dandies (vegan marshmallows), Michelle’s Granola, Primal Strips (plant-based jerky), as well as product samples, an issue of Thrive Magazine, “I ate here because you have vegan options cards” from The Humane League, and more surprises.

Live out your vegan food dreams

The food court is going to be phenomenal. This year will have the largest fully vegan food court Charlotte Vegfest has ever assembled, including longtime local favorites like Fern Flavors from the Garden, Luna’s Living Kitchen, Nourish and Zizi’s as well as new-to-the-scene superstars like Jai Foods, Taza Food Truck, Dawg On Vegans, LotusLand Eats, Soul Cocina and more. One thing is for sure, these food vendors will be coming with their best to show the crowds what vegan eating is all about.

This will NOT be a day to skip dessert. Move That Dough Baking Co, Cinnaholic, Pepperbox Doughnuts, Taylor Street Sweets, True Flour, Bean Vegan Cuisine (soft serve ice cream) and many more will be showcasing their very best plant-based sweets.

Move That Dough Baking Co.

Get educated

Speakers, panels, and chef demos will be hosted throughout the entire day. 2019 speakers include former professional racecar driver and environmental activist Leilani Munter, pro physique competitor Erin Fergus, John Lewis a.k.a. Badass Vegan, Justin Rhederick of Bitcoin Vegan, and Cindy Calhoun of North Carolina Food Innovation Lab. An inclusivity panel will go over important topics polled from the community regarding intersectionality, sustainability, and food justice. A panel comprised of experts will discuss health related topics like common deficiencies and vegan parenting. Check out the full schedule of speakers and chef demo panels.

Hang with the pups

Or maybe even bring one home. Charlotte Vegfest is hosting it’s first ever dog adoption on site at Vegfest 2019. Bullies 2 The Rescue, Angela’s Ark, Catering to Cats and Dogs, Beagle Freedom Project, and P.E.A.R. (Pet Education Assistance & Resources) will be bringing resources and actual pups that are ready to be adopted, including ones that were rescued from animal testing. Find the dogs just outside the main building, but please leave your own pets at home (service dogs allowed).

Check out the official afterparty

Whether you spent all day at Vegfest or can’t make it during the day and still want a piece of the action, the Charlotte Vegfest after-party is not an event to miss. Celeste Moonchild, Its Looks Sad, Cyanca, and Seebirdgo will be performing, and if you’ve got space for more food, Sunburger Cuisine will be vending. Rumor has it that Chef Matt and team might even be bringing vegan soft-serve ice cream. The party runs from 7-11 p.m. at Heist Brewery and Barrel Arts.

Check out more on Charlotte Vegfest happening on Saturday, September 7 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Park Expo and Conference Center. Stay up to date on news and announcements from the Facebook event page.

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