The Fort Lauderdale War Memorial Auditorium will host a vegan paradise on Saturday, December 3, 2016, marking the first annual South Florida VegFest sponsored by Tunies Natural Grocery & Vitamin Market.
An estimated 15,000 people are expected to attend this one-day event boasting upward of 150 vendors. A wide variety of vegan food options will be available for sample and purchase, and organic clothing, soaps, and crafts will be for sale.
The event will be the first of its kind in this area and is produced and managed by Experience Expos. The company specializes in vegan events, such as the hugely successful Yoga Expo Fort Lauderdale, which took place in April 2016 and drew a crowd of over 12,000.
Kyle Michaud, president of Experience Expos, says that the concept is to create a vegan world for a day, with kid’s activities, workshops, fitness, yoga, and tons of free samples.
“It was created to give the South Florida community an idea of the vegan options that are available and showcase some of the really cool stuff the vegan world has to offer that most people don’t really know about,” says Michaud.
Experience Expos is actively seeking vendors for this event. The primary requirement is that the food or product must be 100 percent vegan, which means it cannot contain any animal products or animal by-products, including (but not limited to) meat, dairy, eggs, honey, beeswax, leather, or silk.
Over 100 vendors have already signed on for what promises to be a day of food and fun for attendees and target-market exposure for vendors.
Committed vendors include Gardein, Raw Revolution, One Kombucha, Mushroom Wisdom, DeliverLean, Amy’s Lil’ Chunks of Love, and Chipotle, which has committed to donating 2,000 meals for the event. Orange Theory will be hosting onsite fitness classes throughout the afternoon, and the nonprofits South Florida Vegan Education Group and Mercy for Animals will be passing out literature on cruelty-free living.
Michaud says that leftover food will be donated to a yet-to-be-determined charity partner. Complimentary admission tickets will also be provided to low-income families via local schools.
“We want everyone to feel welcome here,” says Michaud. “We are trying to get people to be inspired to try something new. We don’t just invite vegans, we invite everybody.”
Booth package include an 8' x 10' skirted table, wastebasket, identification sign, and two chairs for $699. Inquire with Experience Expo for nonprofit rates.
Volunteer opportunities are available to greet attendees at the registration table, help with exhibitor support, and assist with kids’ activities. Volunteer shifts are four hours and include admission to the event, a free T-shirt, and free lunch.
“Volunteers sometimes have more fun than the attendees. We have a really good reputation for taking good care of our volunteers,” Michaud says.
Early tickets are available for a limited time only for $15 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
South Florida Vegfest takes place from noon to 6 p.m. December 3, 2016, at the Fort Lauderdale War Memorial Auditorium. Free parking. Admission currently is $15, but may change closer to event. Visit ticketmaster.com or SouthFloridaVegfest.com.
Wendy Rhodes is a freelance writer and award-winning author. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter @WendyRhodesFL.