NYC Vegetarian Food Festival – Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mac got a goodie bag, bought a t-shirt and picked up some cool things
Sunday, April 3, 2011 was a day that Macaroon and Artichoke were waiting to come for a while. It was the day of the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival at the Altman Building on W. 18th Street, a free event for vegetarians, vegans, veg-curious carnivores and omnivores alike. It was slated to be a great time to check out cooking demos, meet experts, participate in panel discussion and food competitions, watch some bellydancing and eat, eat and eat!
The premise of the festival was great. However, the organization could have been better. It appeared that there wasn’t a forecast on the demand, especially when offering VIP passes at a discounted price at LivingSocial.com. Nonetheless, if you were able to get into the building, you were in for a good, yet crowded time. 
Mac was smart and bought a VIP pass via LivingSocial which got her a goodie bag with some snacks, a book and info. Artie, on the other hand, figured he’d just go for free. Needless to say, he wished he followed her lead. He ended up waiting in line for 2 hours just to get in, while Mac walked about seeing the different vendors on the floor. 
By the time, Artie got inside, it was so crazy. Elbow to elbow we were with everyone and everything! However, we made out way through the aisles, picking up info from various organizations, like Mercy for Animals, and having a little nosh from Coconut Bliss, Foodswings, Chicago Soy Dairy and Sweet & Sara to name a few. The folks inside were in a positive spirit. The vendors were eager to share. The attendees were eager to learn and eat. The energy was high. 
We hoped we would spend the whole day with our friends. Sadly, the venue was so packed that we had to leave at around 1:30pm and headed to Blossom du Jour to grab a couple of sandwiches. Our friends saw the insane length of the line (2-3 blocks long, we heard) and couldn’t be bothered. We heard stories of folks driving 3+ hours to the city and standing on the line for another 3+ hours to NOT get into the event.
We’re really glad that the demand was awesome. So many people wanted to be a part of this day. Unfortunately, the venue was too small for the audience of the organizers. Chalk it up as a lesson learned. 
We would say there was definitely success with this event. Hopefully next year it’ll be at a larger venue or outdoors. Either way they go, we’ll be there.
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