Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The First Dayton Vegan Food and Drink Festival

Los Angeles has Eat Drink Vegan (known as the Vegan Coachella). Vegandale is all the rage in Chicago, Toronto, and New York City.

Thus, I didn't know what to expect at the first annual Dayton Vegan Food and Drink Festival that happened this past Sunday. However, many questions raced through my head whilst aiding with volunteer set up in the pleasantly warm morning, high and alert from the Whole Foods Market vegan donuts and Trader Joe's blended orange juices that the DVFADF creator, Da'Ves Malone of Sprouting Dreams, LLC had gifted us all. Would there be a supportive crowd to show up and show out for veganism? Was this new downtown Dayton sensation conflicting with Dayton Art Institute's 41st Annual Oktoberfest some mere miles away? Would the weather be terrible? As vendors began unloading their trucks and setting up along Courthouse Square, tantalizing us by the way of their delightful aromas and unique presentations, the contagious happiness spread around infecting everyone.

Even my great uncle came out. I hadn't seen him in ages and it was wonderful to have a mini family reunion-- at a vegan festival too!
Once the hour struck one o'clock-- the festival start time-- the entertainment was alive and pumping hard. First, yoga lovers stretched by the gentle instructions of Ranjani Powers. DJ Mike Cooley and MC Picket Fence celebrated the roots of funk created right in our own backyard, spinning Heatwave, Zapp & Roger, the Ohio Players, Lakeside, and Faze-O. Molly Blackshear spoke compassionately on how veganism influenced and changed her perception of eating. The brilliant spoken word poet A. Slate roused the crowd with an utterly hilarious poem about the desire for the vegan foods on the menu. There was also activities for the kids, Katie Clark, the author of "I'm a Supervegan," jewelry and beauty products for sale, and various organizations like Cincy VegFest, Paw Patrol, and the Dayton International Peace Museum.

Food and drink vendors were of local and locations outside of Dayton including Billie Gold Bubble Tea, Power Plant Kitchen, Leerah's Vegan Treats, Fruitta Bowls Miamisburg, Sweet P's Icepops, Mana Ice Cream Co., Village Taco, Cabin Sweet Confections, and Pure Sweet Bakery.

Although I left prior to the heavy rain shower, it was good to hear that most of the food vendors sold out. The demand for vegan cuisine is certainly wanted here in Dayton and this first festival answered the call. Hopefully this great community building leads to more amazing vegan events to transpire in the future (another festival is a definite must). It is very obvious that the people crave delicious vegan options when presented to them, when vegan food is readily accessible. The amount of those donning vegan t-shirts, buying official festival vegan merchandise, and proudly displaying their foods and desserts showcase that there is a supportive underground being brought to the surface.

I look forward to the next big vegan happening and will always vouch for helping out in any way possible. I believe that it is possible for Dayton's new festival to be even bigger and better, that our small city has what it takes to make for an epic experience of veganism through eating and activism.


  1. It sounds like it was a wonderful event, and that's great that you were able to volunteer, too!

    1. Thank you, Julie! It was a lot of fun and I’m definitely on board for the next one! :)

  2. it looks like a fun and successful event!

    1. Thank you, Jennifer! We’re certainly pumped about next year! The turn out was amazing!!!!