The Asheville Vegan Fest has become my favorite vegfest. It is put on by Triangle VegFest. Even though the actual vegan fest was on June 12, 2016, I was glad that I got down there on the 10th for the pre-party at The Block Off Biltmore, a vegan bar. I had a chance to meet Patrik Baboumian (The Vegan Strongman), Matt Frazier from No Meat Athlete, and Renee King-Sonnen from the Rowdy Girl Sanctuary.
Usually, when you go to a vegfest you have to plan your day ahead around which speakers you want to see and make sure you visit all of the vendors too. The Asheville Vegan Fest made it easier by having the Saturday before dedicated to just the speakers from 10 am until 8 pm. This was great because you could just pick your spot and listen all day without missing anything. There was an added bonus of free water, coffee, and tea provided by the Firestorm Cafe and Books, who had a table filled with vegan cookbooks, stickers, and animal welfare books. There was also free food all day provided by Eden-Out Organic Meals Delivery Service. At 6:30 pm everyone lined for the vegan chocolate bar where we were given four different pieces of chocolate to try.
You can tell how well a vegfest is run by how easy it is to load your merchandise into your spot. The Asheville Vegan Fest was incredibly easy since our spot was on the main street. I pulled the van over across from our spot and two volunteers were right there to help me unload and I was in and out in under ten minutes. There were over 100 vendors including two that made their own cashew cheeses, Udderly Not Cheese from Asheville, and Pure Abundance Artisan Vegan Cheese from Atlanta Georgia. The bargain of the day was a giant, delicious cup of Mac Daddy's Organic Lemonade with free refills for $5.
This was also an amazing event because we met people from all over North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia. If you are looking to meet local vegans make sure to check out PlantPure Nation and join one of their pods. I can't even describe how great it is to be able to connect and get support from other vegans. If there isn't a pod in your area, please set one up, you won't regret it. We have grown our Bucks County Vegan Supper Club from 2 people to over 475 members in the last six years. The great thing about the PlantPure Nation Pod system is that you get to name and run it however you want and they will even help you market it to grow your membership.
The lesson I learned from this weekend is that if you see someone by themselves, make sure to go up, introduce yourself, and talk to them. You never know what kind of adventure you might get pulled into.
Make sure to put the Asheville Vegan Fest on your calendar for next year's vacation.
Check out our Vegan Travel Guide: Asheville, NC