When my friend Tracy and I decided to get together this year for our girls weekend, we thought about what we both like to do: try new vegan restaurants, be outdoors, and get pampered spa-style. We looked online for a Veg Festival (either a vegetarian or vegan festival) and found one that worked with our schedules in sunny Scottsdale, AZ (Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival, Jan. 28-29, 2017).
We couldn't have chosen a better location all around. (We stayed at the wonderful Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, which has everything you need, but a close walk to a new development of shops and restaurants.) I'm a veg-fest regular (I live in Los Angeles where there are a few a year) so, honestly, I didn't know what to expect from one in Scottsdale. I am happy to report that it exceeded my expectations! The festival was well thought out, with great vendors in the perfect location that included a beautiful atmosphere: a variety of food, live music, lectures (the panel of vegan athletes, one of which was Bad Ass Vegan, was so inspiring and hilarious!), cooking demonstrations, information tables, apparel, and a kids area. I even tried a new food--hibiscuis flower tacos!
If you live in Arizona or if you just want to plan a girls weekend next winter, I highly recommend the Westin Kierland and the Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival. (That sounded like an ad, but I promise you that no one has paid me for this post or a mention.) As a bonus, the Phoenix area has a number of awesome vegan restaurants to choose from. (Shout out to Green, which was so delicious that we ate there two days in a row. Not even LA has vegan Tsoynamis--an entire menu of vegan ice cream blizzards!)
A tipping point is occurring in LA in that it's sort of weird if you DO eat meat, not if you don't. But what I've realized is that that tipping point is happening everywhere! The vegan movement is growing stronger and expanding wider by the day. Lively community festivals like these are a sign that the times are indeed a changin'.
On our way to the airport (Tracy was headed back to Atlanta and I was going home to LA), Tracy turned to me and said, "This was so much fun, where should we go next year?!" I'm not sure where we'll go, but I do know what we'll do. And I can't wait.
Check out this list of Veg Festivals near you.