As a food writer I get invited to all sorts of fun events: fancy wine and cheese pairings, taco cart openings, judging margarita competitions, sausage casing extravaganzas, jello mold jamborees, salted moose feet soirees, free McRib vouchers...that sort of stuff.
But as a guy that likes to eat pretty much anything, I do love it when I get an email saying I'm on the list for anything vegan. The way that vegan cooking and eating has evolved, and is still evolving, makes my head and tummy spin. So when the nice folk at Food In Root invited me to check out a recent VegOut! event here in Tucson (and apparently there are various ones across the map) I said "oh mias oui!"
Or something like that.
It was a warm November Sunday and the VegOut! dealy was held in a near downtown center called the Whistle Stop, this funky events venue on West 5th Street, equipped with a rusted out hall and looming clock tower. Kind of steampunk-y if you ask me. Checking their website, it looks like they do a lot of weddings and gem show stuff. When I got there I was sort of surprised to find it in the center of a residential neighborhood. Not too sure how I would feel with an events venue like a block away. Noise perhaps. And the parking that day would suck. Luckily for me I found relatively decent parking, so I grabbed my trusty camera Matilda and walked to the event.
|Yep...sounds like a vegan event|
The Food In Root folk said I had a plus one which would account for the excessive amount of vegan swag I got: corn cakes, snacks, protein packs, bits of bark, bags of sand, grass fed grass, stuff like that. I left my +1 for a friend but when they arrived about an hour after I left they said that they still had to pay. Huh. And I still went home with their swag.
The place was pretty packed. Vendors dotted the fairgrounds and the deck, and even interior, of the event center. Oh man, and dogs were everywhere. Lots of dogs. Vegans love dogs I guess. Plus the lines for food were really long so I opted to just take photos, take it all in and then take off.
In a weird way I kind of felt like I was intruding on a party that, sure, I was invited to but wasn't really a part of from the beginning. You know what I mean? Lots of folk standing about chatting about alternative medicine, other vegan festivals, being vegan, how to get other people to be vegan, veganism, vegan vegans...so on and so forth.
Oddly, I had a good time even though I really didn't participate. If that's a thing.
So here is a photo essay with captions, encapsulating my afternoon at the VegOut! vegan festival.
|Sweaty vegan cakes being all 6 bucks in the shade|
|I've had this guy's stuff at farmers markets...so I'm good|
|I'm assuming that churro is vegan, but aren't they already?|
|At this point I'd prefer whiskey in a jar, 'cause whiskey is vegan...right?|
|Free hugs or free boob squeezes with half gloved vegan hands|
|Is that locally sourced vegan mist you got there?|
|Vegans listening to vegans talk about vegan stuff|
|I love Island Plate Lunch but that line was too much|
|Eating vegan is so punk|
|Like I said, soooooo many dogs!|
|At first I thought it read Hot Rambo|
|Sweet third eye owl tattoo you got there Chad|
|It wouldn't be a vegan festival if there wasn't a pile of ironic garbage|
After all of the vegan revelry I was pretty spent. And hungry.
So on my way home, I grabbed a burger.
Camera, Typing and Was There
"Metal" Mark Whittaker
A Weirdly Hot Day in Autumn, 2018