First Phoenixville ve­gan fes­ti­val a huge suc­cess

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Vir­ginia Lin­dak For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

A crowd of 2,000 peo­ple at­tended VegFest to learn about healthy life­style changes and en­joy de­li­cious food.

PHOENIXVILLE >> Who knew so many peo­ple loved veg­gies?

A crowd of 2,000 peo­ple at­tended the first Phoenixville VegFest on Satur­day on the cor­ner of Bridge and Main streets to learn about healthy life­style changes and en­joy de­li­cious food. The health-ori­ented fes­ti­val fea­tured a plethora of ve­gan food ven­dors, an­i­mal ad­vo­cate groups, en­vi­ron­men­tally safe prod­ucts for sale and live mu­sic.

VegFest or­ga­nizer Zoe Sakos, a ve­gan, said she was in­spired by sim­i­lar fes­ti­vals held through­out the Philadel­phia re­gion. Sakos thought Phoenixville would be a great town to host a VegFest of its own. She noted her hus­band, a chef at the Great Amer­i­can Pub, has had a great re­sponse to the ve­gan op­tions he has in­cluded on the menu.

“We were at the Beth­le­hem VegFest last year and thought this would be great. There are a lot of restau­rants that are start­ing to have ve­gan op­tions, and it feels like peo­ple are be­ing re­ally re­spon­sive to it. I thought it was a great idea to bring peo­ple to Phoenx­iville,” said Sakos.

“We are al­ready a com­mu­nity-ori­ented place. We al­ways have fes­ti­vals go­ing on. It’s a re­ally good turnout, and we’re ex­cited. We put a lot of heart and soul into it and it has been months in the mak­ing,” Sakos added.

With the 100 block of Main Street shut down, more than 50 ven­dors sets up tents fea­tur­ing healthy ve­gan en­trees, smooth­ies, cloth­ing and jew­elry. Many Phoenixville restau­rants in the bor­ough also of­fered a ve­gan dish in honor of the fes­ti­val. Ad­di­tion­ally, there were sev­eral non profit groups on hand, in­clud­ing the Nour­ish Mo­bile, the Peace Ad­vo­cacy Net­work and the Pig Place­ment Net­work, all who shared ed­u­ca­tional in­for­ma­tion with the crowd.

“It’s the first time that

they’ve had the VegFest here in Phoenixville and it high­lights a unique part of our com­mu­nity,” said Peter Urscheler, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Phoenixville Jaycees. “More than any­thing, it shows just how unique Phoenixville is. This is where peo­ple of all dif­fer­ent back­grounds and of all dif­fer­ent in­ter­ests can come to­gether. We are truly a com­mu­nity.”

Gang­ster Ve­gan, a new ve­gan restau­rant cel­e­brated its grand open­ing in Phoenixville on Satur­day as well. Rabih Khoury, owner of a ve­gan ap­parel busi­ness, part­nered up Gang­ster Ve­gan to sell tee shirts pro­mot­ing ve­g­an­ism. Khoury also sells hats and other ap­parel, all with ve­gan friendly slo­gans.

“It’s im­por­tant to be ve­gan for dif­fer­ent rea­sons, for ev­ery­body. Whether it’s for your health, or the uni­verse, or the planet. What­ever your rea­son is, go for it. One thing we don’t want to see is peo­ple judg­ing other peo­ple for their rea­sons go­ing ve­gan. I’ve seen a lot of that and it’s not a good way to en­cour­age oth­ers,” Khoury said.


Zoe Sakos, right, with the Nour­ish Mo­bile and the or­ga­nizer for the Phoenixville Veg Fest, chats with one of the ven­dors.

The Pig Place­ment Net­work was a crowd fa­vorite dur­ing Phoenixville’s first-ever VegFest.


All kinds of veg­gie fare of­fer­ings were to be had at Phoenixville’s first VegFest.

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