When people think of Buffalo, NY, they often think of a tumultuous amount of snow, chicken wings, and the losing streak of the Buffalo Bills. What many don’t know however, is that the city is rich with not only different cultures, but equally it’s diversity of amazing food! Each summer promises many food festivals as an opportunity to venture out and experience something new, and in 2014 one group decided to take this a step further.
The WNY VegFest merges Vegetarian and Vegan with a clean, sustainable, and healthy lifestyle. The event brought over 5,000 people to Delaware Park last year and expects an even larger turnout this year. So does this mean that those who prefer a juicy burger with a side of t-bone won’t fit in? Absolutely not! Patrons of all dietary backgrounds soon see that the experience alone is worth it, and what better way to try out something new! The event will take place once again in the park’s Marcy Casino and Rose Garden, and the location alone brings about a sense of invigorating peace as you walk about discovering little tips, and tasty treats.
We had a moment to speak with one of the event’s organizer’s, Albert Brown, who gave us some insight into the birth of this amazing event.
Can you tell us how WNY VegFest came to be?
“I thought that a festival encouraging and celebrating all the wonderful benefits of a plant based lifestyle would be perfect for the WNY/Buffalo region and that was the spark that lit a fire that continues to burn.”
At the point which this was just a mere idea, did you ever think it would be so successful in the first year?
“No, we had hoped for 1,500 folks to show up the first year but 5,000 decided they had a better idea than me, haha.”
Who is the driving force team behind WNY VegFest?
“Sara Rogers, Melanie Pasinski, and myself.”
We love that you have also found a way to incorporate the arts into the event. Can you tell us more about this?
“The arts are such an important part of the WNY VegFest! We love featuring local musicians, dancers, and artists and artisans of all kinds. We want our event to always be a creative expression of the talent and love that our region is known for and will always look for ways to showcase our talented pool of artist in the WNY area.”
What do you feel the key difference will be between this year and last year’s event?
“Well, knock on wood, I think we are a little better prepared and we are expanding in every area. Our theme this year is A Plant based Lifestyle and its benefits in an Age of Climate change!“
How many businesses and vendors can we look forward to this year?
“As of right now we have over 70 and that number will grow right up to the event.”
Can you tell us what goals you have in mind for the future?
“I would love to see the WNY VegFest become a multiple day festival and expand on performances, speakers, music and of course all that delicious food!”
This year’s event will feature not only amazing food and earth conscious vendors, but also:
- The annual Tofurkey Trot 5K Run / Walk
- Live music and other performances
- Animals for adoption
- and more
Want to be a part of WNY VegFest now or in the future? You can contact Albert directly via email or phone at: albert [at] wnyvegfest.com or (716) 465.3927
Stay tuned because it doesn’t stop there. The WNY VegFest holds many events including, the Epic VegFest Beach Party taking place on August 16th.