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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Hudson Valley Vegfest Returns October 19 and 20 in Kingston, NY

Oct 01, 2019 01:05AM ● By Marilee Burrell

The Beet Box at last year’s VegFest

Hudson Valley Vegfest, presented by the Hudson Valley Vegfest, will be held October 19 and 20 at BSP (Backstage Studios Productions), in Kingston. Now in its third year, this weekend event will feature more than 60 vendors and a dozen speakers and presentations on various aspects of the vegan lifestyle. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Amid increasing concerns about the climate and the environment, human health, food justice and animal welfare, there is more interest than ever in the ethics of what we eat, says Rebecca Moore founder of HV Vegfest and the Institute for Animal Happiness.

“The growing interest in veganism and the seriousness being given to vegan ethics has now gone beyond merely being a fad or even a paradigm shift; it is our future,” she says. “We’re seeing it everywhere, from big business to the local level. Young generations, concerned for animals and seeing the beginnings of climate change, have already moved veganism into the mainstream. Vegfest is dedicated to supporting the Hudson Valley to take its rightful place as a center for the incredible new plant-strong economy that’s emerging around the globe.”

Among the vendors at Vegfest will be well-known “vegan-foodie” brands such as Sweet Maresa’s and Freakin’ Vegans, plus local favorites Green Palate, Thyme & Co. and Healthy Gourmet To-Go. Speakers and presentations will include Omowale Adewale, founder of Black Vegfest and; Suin Park, of Forward Roots; chef and farmer Kevin Archer, of Zelda & Bramble; a panel of experts on chicken care, rescue and advocacy; and local vegan luminaries such as cookbook author Nava Atlas and Roberta Schiff, founder of Hudson Valley Vegans, the first local vegan meet-up group.

According to Moore, HV Vegfest is the only zero-waste annual food festival in the Hudson Valley. “Amazingly, with 2,000 to 2,500 attendees, we produced only two bags of waste to landfill in our year one, and only six bags in our year two,” she says. “This extraordinary feat was achieved by working with local company Zero to Go.”

On Saturday from 5 to 8 p.m., HV Vegfest will inaugurate Kingston Animalia, a full concert and art show. Billed as a compassionate art uprising “celebrating our common Animalhood,” Kingston Animalia brings together poets, visual artists, musicians and more.

Cost: $10 per day for adults; children 11 and under free. Veterans half-price at the door. Location: BSP (Backstage Studios Productions), 323 Wall St., Kingston, NY. For more info, visit