I don’t go to a lot of events, but I had to make an exception for the Long Island Vegan Extravaganza that took place on Saturday, October 26, 2019.
I had seen so many of my fellow Long Island vegans have such a good time at the recent Vegandale festival in New York City, and I was definitely dealing with some envy. So when I saw that Long Island Vegan Extravaganza was about to roll around, I started to have a serious case of FOMO. With so many vendors that I follow on Instagram scheduled to be there, I had to go!
The Location + Atmosphere
This fall festival was scheduled to take place rain or shine, and, honestly, it couldn’t have chosen a better location. Though the event itself was located inside Brentwood’s Sisters of St. Joseph, the outside space was wonderful, paired with the nice warmth of the fall day.
There were a lot of attendees (and vendors), and, because it was indoors, it was sometimes difficult to navigate. There were a few tables set up here and there for people to sit and eat, but, overall, there wasn’t a lot of space for people to move around. A lot of people ended up eating their fried “chicken” sandwiches or donuts on the stairs.
Because of the lack of space, I personally kept getting overheated when going around to vendors, especially those that were in the hallway. Luckily, I could easily go outside for some fresh air and come back when I was ready.
All things considered though, this was a good problem to have. It showed that there were a lot of people showing up for veganism, and that’s never a bad thing to me.
The Cost + Overall Value
To get in to Vegan Extravaganza, it cost $8.00 at the door, and $6.92 (with processing fees) if you bought your tickets in advance. If you bought your tickets beforehand, you were also entered to win goodies from the event’s vendors, so clearly you can see why this would be a bargain. Even the $8.00 admittance fee was worth the price, which became evident as soon as you walked in.
With so many vendors to choose from – vendors that you might not ever see otherwise – the price of admission plus the extra costs of anything you decided to buy was totally worth it. For example, you could purchase a t-shirt for as low as $10 – a steal! – and some filling mac n cheese for $5. All of the prices were totally reasonable, especially if you’re like my husband and me, who split everything.
LI Vegan Extravaganza introduced me to new vendors and allowed me to sample others that I had been following for a while now. Even more interesting is that some weren’t even local to Long Island! Freakin’ Vegan came all the way from New Jersey to serve up some delicious food, for example, and FOUNDationYOU brought their t-shirts in from NYC.
My husband and I love to share food, so that’s exactly what we did. We tried the Hotstepper, an all-vegan breakfast sandwich complete with a chickpea egg, coconut bacon, and tomato jam, from Pleasant Petites, sampled the mac n cheese from Freakin’ Vegans, a donut and cupcake from the Sweet Soul Bakery (located in St. James), and the delightful Strawberry Dream smoothie from Green Street Food Truck. All of these were, well, a dream!
Of course, there were many more that I wanted to try, but a girl can only eat (and spend) so much. I Heart Mac n Cheese (with locations in both Patchogue and Bayside) was serving up items from their new vegan menu, Gone Pie had their delicious treats, Naturally Lana’s showed up with cookie sandwiches…and, wow, there was so much more!
But there was more than just food! Lindenhurst’s Rebel Hair Lounge was doing hair tinsel, Ceramic Art by J had a variety of mugs, bowls, and other items to choose from, Primitive Naturals had us covered with sustainable beauty products, and Chin Up! Prints was selling upcycled tees and other handmade items. Groups, such as Long Island Farm Sanctuary, The Humane Society of New York, and the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, had tables set up, ready to educate attendees.
Am I already dreaming about the next LI vegan fest? Yes!
I loved learning about all the businesses doing their part to end animal suffering, whether through food, t-shirts, or hair. I am so happy that I was able to to go. It was like vegan heaven!
Long Island has such a rich vegan scene that, unfortunately, I don’t think gets appreciated enough. We always think of vegans and New York City, but LI has a lot to offer too. The more we have events like LI Vegan Extravaganza (which is run by volunteers and needs your support to continue on!), the more people will realize just how vegan-friendly Long Island is.
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