Last Sunday Waits, Jeremy and I had the pleasure of experiencing LA’s newest vegan extravaganza – the LA Vegan Street Fair. Organized by my friend and fellow vegan power-mama Jess from The Vedge, this event is just the latest in a long line of incredible SoCal vegan festivals. And man, I know that when people think “Vegan Mecca”, it’s always New York, Portland, and San Francisco that come to mind.
But I gotta say – I am just continually impressed and delighted by the BURSTING vegan scene that’s happening in Los Angeles right now! Events, meetups, shows, gatherings, so much enthusiasm, and more so than in any of the other cities I’ve experienced – DIVERSITY. It’s truly special and I feel so grateful to be a part of it.
And last weekend’s Vegan Street Fair was no exception. It was packed – and I mean overly-packed, haha, but that’s a good thing right? – with people from all walks of life. Very old and very young, all colors and backgrounds, hipsters and hippies and families and squares, and everything in between. Basically, it was a wide cut of the general overall LA populace, and to me that means just one thing:
Vegan has gone mainstream!
What a wonderful thing to experience. And it really was a wonder of a day, full of catching up with old friends, getting to know new friends (I finally got to meet Laura Yaz from Big Fat Vegan Radio!), and sampling delicious bite-size treats from dozens of SoCal restaurants and vendors (which was like, actually the point of the event).
So without further ado, here’s a few photos from our day:A pic from our drive down to LA. I Instagrammed: “Eatin’ #seaweed and muggin’ for the camera on our way down to the very first @VeganStreetFair! Sooooo excited for this awesome event by the amazing @thevedge_“ // If you want to keep up with my daily musings and mischief, you can follow me – @sayward – on Instagram!
Like the compulsive early-birds that we are, we arrived bright and early before things really got rolling, and immediately bumped into a big ol’ mess of long-lost friends. Mini reunion!
Jeremy catching up with Whitney – they haven’t seen each other since he opened Still, so there was definitely LOTS to catch up on! And it means so much to me to hear someone tell Jeremy, “You’re like a different person! You seem so relaxed and alive!” I’m so proud of him, for what he’s accomplished and where it’s brought him. ♥
And food! Lots of food.
Oh hello, gluten-free vegan chocolate-chocolate cake pop.
. . . which he promptly stole from me.
By noonish the festival was really starting to fill up, as thousands and thousands of vegans swarmed the streets in pursuit of food, friends, and fun (as an aside, please note the height of the rock climbing wall in the background there).
Of course he had to climb it . . .
Like a boss! That’s my entirely plant-built 4-year-old, y’all. (But like, it’s not healthy for kids to be vegan, right? /sarcasm)
More mini reunions with long-lost friends! We got to catch up with Jason.
And Kylie, who I first met at Vegan Beer Fest the same day I met Jeremy!
Oh these two goobers. (this sign was at the booth for the new cruelty-free clothing line, BEET x BEET. I love them! And I totally bought the Go Vegan Right Meow baseball tee. You should check them out! ♥)
My adorable friend Joni from Just The Food had a booth of her own, serving up AMAZING pulled jackfruit and faux-fish tacos.
Follow Your Heart was sampling their new line of block cheeses. I think this is the best “cheese and crackers” cheese I’ve ever had! I usually only like to eat cultured nut cheeses if I’m eating them plain/cold, on their own. But these were awesome! And the tomato soup was a fantastic bonus.
Oh also this bakery-fresh-gluten-free-vegan-”oreo” happened, because oreo.
Josh was there representing Herbivore, and (broken record, I know) it was soooo good to see him!
More sweet treats. I guess it was just that kind of day? This is gluten-free German Chocolate Cake and it was my favorite thing I ate at the whole fair. Perfection.
Storm clouds gathering . . . (in LA?? say it ain’t so!)
No really, gathering.
That pic was taken right before the sky opened up and dumped – I mean DUMPED – all over us. It was hailing big icy chunks and Jeremy, Waits and I had to scurry into a Porta Potty to wait out the “winter” weather madness. It was actually kind of fun, and within 10 minutes the worst of it had passed.
Of course, it did continue to rain on and off for the rest of the day. Soggy.Like I said, soggy.
But all in all, it was an absolutely amazing day that far exceeded any of my expectations. And you know what? LA just keeps doing that to me.
So thanks, LA. I think I kind of love you.
And cheers! Cheers to LA and the badass vegan army that’s making it burn brighter than ever. All my love.♥ Until next time! ♥