Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Texas Vegetarian Festivals and Events

With my love of both the Texas VegFest and Lonestar Veggie Chili Championship, I thought I would do a little research regarding other vegetarian festivals and events in Texas and compile my findings into a list for my readers. I have included festivals, conventions, and other events here, in order to fill your whole year with vegan related festivities! I haven't included exact dates in order to extend the usefulness of this guide, but the months in which they regularly occur have been included. If you know of another veg-focused event in Texas, please contact me and I'll list your event on this page! Thank you!

New Year, New You Health Fest
Marshall, TX - January (website)
This East-Texas based event spans one weekend in January with a focus on restoring your health. Events include fitness activities and exercises, chili cookoff, live music, tastings, and lectures. The inaugural event speakers included cookbook author Lindsay S. Nixon, China Study author Dr. T Colin Campbell, Farm Sanctuary co-founder Gene Baur, and vegan bodybuilder Robert Cheeke. Tickets are very affordable for such a jam-packed weekend.

Texas VegFest
Austin, TX - April (website)
This day long event boasts a centrally located stage with live music, food vendors, specialty retailers, speakers, and cooking demonstrations. Free parking is available, attendees get a "swag bag" which is chock full of amazing samples and coupons, and there are activities for kids. Vendors sample their foods, give out coupons, and offer off raffle prizes, too. A whole lot of excitement for just a $5 suggested donation. Check out my 2012 and 2013 recaps.

The Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale
Statewide - April (website)
Vegans and the veg-curious around the world participate in bake sales throughout this week to raise money for various causes. Every group that participates chooses their own venue and where the money goes when they're finished. For a complete list of locations you can visit this page on their website. Beware, it is a LONG list! Austin, Dallas, El Paso, and Houston are all participating for 2013.

VegFest Houston
Houston, TX - June (website)
Established in 2011 by the Vegan Society of Peace, VegFest Houston is free to the public. You'll find Houston-area vegan restaurants there as well as speakers, kids activities, live music, demos, samples, films, giveaways, and more. Past speakers have included author Victoria Moran, cookbook author Yafah Asiel, Dr. Mamiko Matsuda, and Dr. Baxter Montgomery.

Farm Sanctuary Walk for Farm Animals
Statewide - September through November (website)
This fundraising effort for the nonprofit animal sanctuary is a non-competitive walk that brings public attention to animal suffering. Walks take place throughout the country and some include additional activities like raffles, speakers, and catering. The Austin event in 2012 was incredibly fun. Many people brought their dogs, and some attendees even brought their other pets (a dwarf pony and pig to be precise). For a recap of the 2012 event, visit this page!

The Texas State Veggie Fair

Dallas, TX - October (website)
Like other vegetarian festivals, the Texas State Veggie Fair has it all- speakers, demos, vendors, retailers, and more, but the highlight of this event is its fried foods competition as well as classic fair food made vegan. The 2012 event held its first art contest. And the event is dog-friendly, which means you can bring your furry friend to the event park, though they aren't allowed inside where the speakers and demos can be found. Previous speakers have included Stephanie Redcross from Vegan Mainstream, Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart from Vaute Couture, and vegan yoga instructor Nicole Sopko.

Texas Go Vegan Week
Statewide - October (website)
Another event organized by the Vegan Society of Peace, Texas GO VEGAN Week is a celebration of vegan living. Past get-togethers have included vegan happy hours, cooking classes, and picnics. Everyone is encouraged to host an event where they live. Recommendations include public film screenings, letter writing campaigns, and potlucks.

The Lone Star Veggie Chili Championship
Austin, TX - November (website)
Possibly the longest running vegetarian event in Texas, this chili cookoff was started in the 80s and brings over a thousand visitors each year. Competitors enter into "traditional" or "all veg" categories and those in attendance vote can for their favorites. Local restaurants, food bloggers, students, and amateurs can and do enter. Fun flavors and ingredients are encouraged as well! When I went in 2012, some of the chili I tried contained chocolate and walnuts, pumpkin and pineapple, and coconut milk and cashews. Click here for my 2012 event recap!

No comments:

Post a Comment