Hello to all! With school coming to a close, I thought I’d take advantage of this free hour I have in my schedule to tell you all about Calgary’s VegFest 2018.

The day started out as an average Alberta day always does- with crazy unpredictable weather. On this day, Mother Nature decided to mess with us all by alternating between buckets pouring down from the sky and a sunny summer’s day. When I arrived at the festival, the weather didn’t even seem to matter. I was immediately greeted by hundreds of warm smiles and the amazing smells surrounding the tents.

Being an outdoor festival in addition to being a vegan one, dogs were welcomed in all areas. This was amazing news for me because it gave my awkward and introverted self an excuse to just hang out with dogs all day!

The festival was not just limited to vegan food as I had expected. There were so many booths, all with their own thing going on. Some had vegan merchandise, henna tattoos, kombucha (which was AMAZING, by the way) and there were even smaller businesses like shelters and rescue organizations. I spent my day meeting all of the wonderful people who have dedicated all of their time and effort into their businesses, and boy did it sure pay off! There were so many determined, creative and ambitious minds around me that I couldn’t help but to feel inspired myself.

There were also several speakers who presented on the stage. I only had time to listen to a few, but I learned so many amazing facts and tips about veganism. There was a good mix of informational, comedic, and inspirational speeches.

My all time favourite moment had to be what I experienced not too long after my arrival. While I was making my way around and getting a feel for the different tents, I noticed a very large and muscular pitbull sitting by the adoption tent. Having grown up around big dogs my whole life, I nonchalantly knelt down and began petting the dog. That’s when I noticed the little girl standing behind me, staring in awe as I ran my hands over the muscular dog. She turned to her mom and said something along the lines of “mom, the princess is petting him! Why can’t I?” I took my crown off and smiled at the girl, reassuring her that the dog was perfectly fine. She broke off from her mother’s anxious grip and slowly reached out to the pitbull, eventually resting her hand on his head.

I always knew that there was a stigma around certain dogs. What warmed my heart was seeing how easy it can be to break that stigma, especially for our youth.

The same thing applies to the whole festival- for non vegans, it can seem like a hippie convention with “gross” food. It isn’t until you try it out that you really discover the event- or even the world of veganism.

 

I filmed the festival and interviewed some of the booths! To check it out, click on the link to my youtube channel or click on the video below:

 

Thank you for reading!

Xoxo,

Angelique / Miss Teenage Rockyview County 2018

Written by: Angelique

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