SpaceCoast VegFest Looks Onward To Next Year’s Event

401 Riveredge Blvd
Cocoa, FL
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SpaceCoast VegFest
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by Michael Wilkins

Our own Danielle Bussone was back on the road again doing a live demo in October at the Space Coast Vegfest. Naturally, I was curious as to what this festival had to offer so I tagged along to take pictures and gather information. This festival is the brainchild of a group of individuals committed to the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle on the Space of Florida. According to the website, Kim Smith, owner of A–Live and Healthy Café is one of the driving forces for putting this event together.

 

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I spoke with a lady named Trish at the main tent and she told me that when they attended Central Florida Vegfest in Orlando, they decided that they could do something like this on the Space Coast in Cocoa Beach. It was obvious from the start that a lot of hard work went into planning this event. There were quite a few booths representing everything from nutritional guidance to housecleaning with green products. Some of the booths featured things like body cleansing and building products. There were organic soaps and cosmetics, lean protein sources such as hemp, brewed chocolate, yoga and others too numerous to mention. I spoke with quite a few of the vendors and they were all excited about the opportunity to participate in this event. The event was well attended and attendance exceeded the organizers expectations.

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The food was amazing and the samples being given away by the vendors were tasty and at the same time intriguing. Appleseed Health Foods offered samples of vegan pumpkin pie filling. She handed out the recipe on the back of her business cards and I cannot wait to try this recipe as it was very tasty when I sampled it. I also got a chance to visit several other booths sampling brewed chocolate, lean hemp, organic cinnamon raisin bread, and Spirulina Ice.

 

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The three main food vendors at the event all had fairly long lines of people waiting to get their food. This did not dampen their spirits, however, since everyone was looking forward to getting a taste of something healthy and nutritious. One vendor was selling drinks out of carved coconuts which were quite a hit. The main food vendors were Jersey Girl Super Foods, a food truck called Veggie Love and Oasis (Vegan Mediterranean Food). I sampled a little food from all the vendors and my favorites were the ratatouille from Jersey Girl Super Foods, the vegan sushi from Veggie Love and the stuffed grape leaves from Oasis. I worked up an appetite talking to the vendors and taking pictures, so it was a pleasure to have the different foods choices available.

 

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There was plenty to occupy young minds. A face painter was very busy painting up all kinds of smiling faces, including children, old and young. That’s right mom and dad, we saw you walking around with face paint on. A playground at the entrance to the park kids found an opportunity to run gave the kids a chance to get rid of that pent up energy playing on the slides and swings. The best experience seemed to be running through the fountain while the water shot up and receded as they moved through the circle. A children’s craft area was also set up by Sunseed Food Co-op where imaginations could flourish.

 

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At the Cooking demo tent, Shana Fabian: Raw Food Chef and creator of the famous raw lasagna, Susie Fricker of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and Danielle Bussone: Author of Time for Change – Whole Foods for Whole Health, did demonstrations on healthy and nutritious cooking. This was great fun as it gave people a chance to learn about healthy cooking and sample tasty dishes. The speakers tent was also busy with individuals like Ellen Jaffe cookbook author, chef and marathon athlete, Robert Cheeke vegan bodybuilder, Dr. Samadhi Artemisa Holistic Health Consultant, Dr. David Daly: Owner – Daly Chiropractic and Wellness Center, and Dr. Brendan Zachar: Back on Point Acupuncture.

 

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Robert Cheeke

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Danielle Bussone

Danielle Bussone

 

Throughout the day there was a great variety of good music taking place on the main stage. There were also demonstrations on yoga and various fitness regimens. Always a crowd-pleaser, the highlight of the day on the main stage was the pie eating contest. I think it would have been more fun if they had made the contestants eat cream pie and do it without their hands. This is a great start for the Space Coast Vegfest and I look forward to attending this event next year. So if you are in the area or traveling through when this event takes place next year it is a must-see because it will be even better next year.

 

Michael Wilkins is a respiratory therapist, an avid scuba diver and an accomplished photographer. He has been living with hepatitis C for more than two decades and is a cancer surviver. Michael has kept liver cancer at bay by employing the healing properties of a plant-based diet.

A year later, after a strict plant-based regimen, his tumor markers are normal and his MRIs are clean! This has made Michael more passionate about staying on a vegan diet. He has met lots of wonderful passionate people with amazing stories while walking down this path. Michael’s area is Northeast Florida, particularly the Jacksonville area. Contact Michael to share your restaurant finds, make comments, or just to say hello!

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