Families, vendors, activists, animal lovers and vegan food enthusiasts gathered Saturday at Gainesville’s first VegFest.
The event took place at Westside Park and featured live music, food trucks and stations, locally grown produce, arts and crafts, independent vendors and animal rescue and adoption agents.
Sean Gloria, director of development at Solutionary Species, an educational organization based in St. Petersburg, said his goal in helping to organize events like VegFest is to raise awareness about the benefits and long-lasting effects of plant-based diets on the environment, human health and animal welfare.
“We have the philosophy that humans have found a way to, kind of on accident, be a problematic species,” he said. “We focus on finding solutions for what we call the big three: humans, animals and the environment.”
Gloria said he thinks VegFest will benefit the Gainesville community.
“With the speakers and the vendors we bring in, it’s nothing but positive information and people looking to make a difference,” he said.
Blocks-N-Bricks, an event created by married couple Dawn and James Burrows, was held over the weekend in New Port Richey, attracting over a thousand people from the local Tampa area and beyond. The event featured Lego displays, vendors and building zones meant for all ages.