Today we excitedly attended the first annual Vegan Street Fair in the North Hollywood Arts District. The forecast had been calling for rain all weekend so we hoped to grab some vegan treats, mingle with some awesome people, and get back to the Westside before the storm. Well…that didn’t happen.
Here’s the good news and the bad news: this fair was CROWDED. Good news that a vegan food fest can garner such massive attendance, but it was very bad news for anyone that actually wanted to eat anything. The space they allotted for the fair, a small intersection of two streets in NoHo, was about 20 times too small for the amount of people that showed up. Everyone had to wait in line to buy food tickets and then wait in line to get food. The result was not really getting to try much of anything at all. It was at least a 20-minute commitment to stand in any food line. We saw families splitting up and carrying out tactical missions to different booths in an attempt to cover more culinary ground. Then when you finally got some food the portion size was not worth the price or the wait.
The last straw came when we decided (mostly because we had non-refundable food tickets to burn) to wait in the line for the Southern Fried Vegan booth to get our hands on some baked mac n cheese and other southern comfort foods. We were literally in line for an hour when it began to hail. We were soaked and freezing by the time we got to grab some food and, no, it was definitely not worth the wait. Good, but so not worth the line and the hypothermia.
The highlights of the fair came before the deluge and included a corndog, a cinnamon roll, and getting to meet some cool like-minded people and fellow bloggers. I really can’t even tell you the names of the restaurants I sampled from because of the mass crush of the crowd and the pressure to get in, get your food, and get the hell out of everyone’s way. We literally left hungry, and freezing. All in all it was a disappointing event, a major fail on the planning end, but it was completely awesome to see such a large and diverse crowd of people willing to risk pneumonia to eat plants! I’m certain the Vegan Beer and Food Festival planned for May 16th at the Rose Bowl will be MUCH better. And, hey, if it’s not at least there will be beer. Photos below!