On Saturday, September 16, vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike gathered at the Schautz Stadium in Scranton to attend the first-ever NEPA Vegfest.
This inaugural event is “based on promoting compassion, health, and wellness in our community” and included craft vendors, plant-based food, speakers, cooking demos, music, yoga, fitness education, and children’s activities. All activities throughout the day were based on promoting wellness within the local community.
Proceeds from the event went to The Farmhouse Sanctuary, a local 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The Farmhouse Sanctuary is a refuge “for all being.” The organization’s goal is to help improve both the quality of life and the environment through proactive community outreach and education. Their mission is “compassion and love for all.”
NEPA Vegfest fits right in with the other annual food festivals like La Festa Italiana, the Greek food festival, and more. But while other local events may offer some vegan or vegetarian options, Vegfest offers something different where plant-based choices are front and center.
If food wasn’t your only motivation, there were plenty of vendors to stock up on health and beauty supplies, clothing, jewelry, and other fun vegan-friendly merch. Local vendors who participated in NEPA Vegfest include Whimsy Wicks Candle Co., One Life to Live Pet Rescue (with some adoptable pups!), earth and wears, Mandalas by Ariell, Nearme Yoga, Buka clothing, Nature’s Delights, Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, and more!
Free yoga sessions occurred throughout the day for anyone who wanted to get their flow on, regardless of level. Music for the event was provided by Brenda Fernandez, James Mcgurl, Patrick Fiore, and Coal Minor Canary. Event speakers included Andy Tabar & Jaime Karpovich, Adam Shprintzen, Jean Hayes & Michelle Orrson, and Eric Lindstrom.
The Cinnamon Snail food truck brings vegan food to the street by making it approachable and craveable to both “the mainstream non-veg eater” and “die hard vegans.” From decadent pastries and doughnuts to savory sandwiches and burgers, they offer “food to inspire peace and bliss.”
Grateful Roast in a specialty coffee roaster and café featuring a full coffee and espresso bar as well as an extensive menu of fresh, wholesome foods and house-made pastries. They are located at 400 Middle Rd, BDG C, Nanticoke, Pa., although you can also find them at various locations throughout the Wyoming Valley, including Something Special in Kingston, Hillside Farms in Shavertown, and House of Nutrition in Luzerne.
OMG Smoothies is a part of Old Mill Gourmet, a Bally, PA-based business that offers a variety of minimally-process, gourmet goods including preserves, Pure Maple Syrup, Argentine Chimichurri, and more. Their OMG Smoothies food truck offers real fruit smoothies made with fresh ingredients, such as whole blueberries, fresh bananas, and local wildflower honey.
Parlor City Vegan is a mobile vegan food café located in Binghamton, New York. They serve “handcrafted vegan comfort food.”
The Purple Pepper Deli in Scranton, PA is a sandwich shop and produce outlet for Purple Pepper Farms of Lake Winola, Pa. They serve up subs made on fresh foot-long Italian rolls from Roscioli’s Bakery.
Terra Preta is a farm-to-table restaurant in Scranton that utilizes local farmers. Their menu changes seasonally and the restaurant practices sustainable methods by reducing waste and up-cycling for their interior design. Since opening in 2014, their motto has been “Live Well. Eat Well.”
Vegan treats is a renowned vegan bakery located in Bethlehem, PA. Danielle Konya, the founder of Vegan Treats, won a PETA Proggy Award for Best Bakery, a Guest Chef spot at Google, and was the champion of PBS’s Feast of Sweets. In 2012, American Express Departures Magazine named Vegan Treats Bakery one of the top 10 bakeries in the world. Danielle believes “compassion starts with your fork,” and it’s quite apparent that for anyone who has tried her treats, compassion has never tasted so good.
Sarah is a content writer and social media assistant with a BA in literature/creative writing from Wilkes University. When she’s not spending her days at work writing, reading, and drinking coffee, she’s usually at home reading, writing, and drinking coffee. She also devotes a fair amount of time to HGTV, drawing, and doting on her dog. As a creator, Sarah believes in emphasizing personality through design and DIY projects.