By Julia Simon
May 17, 2016
Charlotte VegFest, now in its 5th year, brings together some of the city’s most excellent vegan fare, and is a great way to check out what’s going on with local and regional animal activism, and vegan culture in general. With over 90 vendors set to pack the Grady Cole Center this Saturday, it’ll be Charlotte’s biggest VegFest yet, and is free to the public.
First things first– let’s talk grub. The city’s best plant-based eats, all in one location, sampling and selling dishes that’d make Woody Harrelson flip his wig. Everyone will be there from Zizi’s to (Luna’s) Living Kitchen, to Nourish, Fūd at Salud, and Fern, to Asheville buddies Smiling Hara Tempeh, to Viva Raw slinging fine juices, Masa Casa’s hot tamales, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Terra Flora Foods, Lenny Boy Brewing, and more. This year, the ante has been officially upped as six vendors throw down for the first Vegan Mac ‘n Cheeze Competition (with a Z, y’all), judged via ballot by the public. Doughnuts and granola, gluten-free snacks galore, waffles, BBQ’d things (think pecans and tofu), anything your little vegan (or vegan-curious) heart desires. Bring your appetite!
Don’t forget to feed your brain, too. The speaker lineup is impressive this year. Starting with Ellen Jaffe Jones, marathon runner and author of Vegan on 4$ a Day, then onto Dr. Aysha Akhtar, who explains how many of our most urgent and pressing public health threats are connected with how animals are treated. Mike Wolf, vegan bodybuilder and Compassion Over Killing investigator, will also be there to talk activism basics and the importance of continuing the fight against Ag-Gag law. Local activists Maddie Segal and Andrea Gunn from The Humane League will be on hand to talk THL local and national business, and answer questions about how to get involved.
There’ll be face painting and performances throughout the day by AerialCLT acrobats to keep the kiddies entertained. And shopping, duh! High-profile vegan clothiers The Herbavore Clothing Company will be there, so if you’ve been wondering where to nab one of those sweet “Eat Like You Give a Damn” raglan Ts, look no further. Starling & Ivy, hailing from Raleigh, will have cruelty-free, ultra cute accessories on hand, and will donate 15% of every purchase to animal rights organizations. Lookin’ good, feelin’ good, doin’ good. But you don’t have to drop cash to get a piece of the action– the first 100 attendees will receive an awesome bag stuffed with free samples, coupons, and all kinds of rad stuff, so arrive early!
And now for a little trash talk; this year’s VegFest will pilot a zero-waste system, thanks to the efforts of Crown Town Compost and The Greener Supply. The biggest attempt at a composted event in Charlotte yet, and all you gotta do to support it is eat multiple plates of killer vegan nosh. Easy, right? See you Saturday!
SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2016 from 11AM–4PM
GRADY COLE CENTER
310 N Kings Dr, Charlotte, NC 28204
More on CLTure Food