This Saturday, July 13 at Virginia Key Beach Park, Vegandale makes its Miami debut. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. the traveling cruelty-free festival will have 80 vendors aiming to prove to South Florida that animal-free food doesn’t have to be taste-free. We spoke to Jenna Owen, Vegandale’s director of communications to get the lowdown on the event.
How did the idea for Vegandale Fest come to be?
Vegandale Festival is a passion project of its owner and founder, Hellenic Vincent De Paul who has a background in nightlife events. He felt morally obligated to stand up for the vulnerable and show people that vegan food is delicious and the lifestyle is accessible.
How did you decide on Miami to be a locale for the festival?
We try to expand to a new city every year, and we know Miami has a big vegan scene. Members of our team visited Miami in February, and between the selected location and vegan restaurants they ate at, we knew we had found our next city!
How do you decide on the food vendors (besides the obvious of their being
All of our vendors are not vegan, though they are required to serve vegan food at the festival. We have a dedicated sales team that determines vendors based on research and quality assurance checks. It is very important to us that selected vendors are educated on veganism in advance of the festival. We also aim for an even split between hot and cold vendors for variety and to complement the weather.
What are some can’t miss items people need to try when at Vegandale Fest?
We are expecting around 80 vendors so it’s tough to narrow it down to just a few. We have some local favourites coming as well as out of town vendors that many might not have an opportunity to try otherwise. To name a few must try items: Salted Date Caramel Leches from Vegan Junkie, Miami. Fish and Chips from Oh My Cod, Palm Coast. Bubble Waffles and Ice Cream from Eggloo, New York City. Mini Chick’n Buckets from Eat Love, Corona
What’s your quick one minute pitch on why people should be vegan?
We believe that it is wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering, exploitation and death on animals and that all sentient beings (those who can think and feel) have the right not to be treated as property. With over 50 billion land animals and trillions of fish and marine animals being slaughtered each year for human consumption, the best and most important thing we can do for animals is to go vegan and to help end the demand for all animal products. Our festival aims to show that you can still enjoy all the same foods without participating in exploitation.
If you’ve been to Miami what are some vegan restaurants/ meals you enjoy eating here?
The team members who visited Miami in February enjoyed Charly’s Vegan Tacos. Coming from Toronto, our team is looking forward to trying Planta since we have a few locations back home.
What can people expect from a day at Vegandale Fest Miami?
A day full of the best vegan comfort food and drinks mixed with vegan messages! We’ll have a full stage with music, entertainment, games, dancing, and contests. Above all, people can expect to experience an incredible sense of community being in the presence of thousands of other like-minded people.
For all the deets and tickets click here.