First Time Attendees’ Guide to Twin Cities Veg Fest

Twin Cities Veg Fest is now the biggest plant-based festival in the Midwest. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend this year on September 15 at Harriet Island Regional Park. Admission is free and every attendee will get a free juice shot from main stage sponsor So Good So You. If you’re considering attending the festival for the first time, here are a few tips to make your first Twin Cities Veg Fest experience the best it can be.

Tip #1 – Come hungry.

While there are plenty of things to do at the festival that aren’t eating, food is still the main event. Anyone who comes to the festival with a full belly will be facing some serious FOMO moments.

Tip #2 – Bring a water bottle and plenty of Tupperwares.

The festival aims to be a zero waste event, which means the festival’s planning committee has been hard at work to ensure that over 90% of what’s used is compostable or recyclable. The water area can help you stay hydrated with your own water bottle and bringing your own reusable containers can further reduce the resources needed to operate this event. Plus, this way, you can take home any of the food you’re eyeing that your stomach runs out of room for. If you do this right, you could be basking in the glow of Twin Cities Veg Fest for days to come!

Tip #3 – Take advantage of a free ride.

You can reduce your impact on the environment even further by walking, biking, or using public transit to get to the festival. Thanks to our partnership with Metro Transit, the festival is able to offer free transit for festival-goers. This is a great way to make your travel to and from the festival free and easy.

Tip #4 – Attend with friends.

The festival is most fun when shared. Plus, you’ll get to taste test even more delicious foods when you come with friends or family. Don’t know anyone who wants to come? Volunteering is a great way to meet new folks. You can also pick up a bingo card at the Twin Cities Veg Fest or CAA tables that can serve as a way to get to know others.

Tip #5 – Come early and/or stay late.

Twin Cities Veg Fest is wildly popular, growing dramatically each year. And there’s a good reason for that. So why not make a full day of it? If you’re one of the first people to arrive at the festival, you can avoid long lines and enjoy a free swag bag if you’re one of the first 250 attendees. If you stay late, you can take part in Veg Island Jam, featuring a great line-up of local bands, a cash bar, and unique food items for purchase. Tickets available here.

Tip #6 – Choose a speaker and cooking demo to attend.

This year’s line-up of speakers and cooking demos is fantastic. It’s a can’t miss opportunity to learn for free from local and national leaders in plant-based cooking and animal advocacy. The speakers offer plenty of inspiration and ideas for how to become a more effective advocate for a compassionate world. And whatever your experience level, the chefs offer helpful ideas and tips for becoming a more skilled and confident cook of plant-based foods. Stay until the end to enjoy the tasty free samples!

Tip #7 – Be an adventurous eater.

One of the best parts of the festival is trying new and unique foods. Keep an open mind and take advantage of unique items or foods you can’t normally find in a local brick and mortar location. Haven’t found a vegan cheese you like? Surprise yourself with the Cheese Curds from Radical Eats. Think mac and cheese doesn’t belong inside an “egg roll?” Think again and try Root to Rise’s amazing Mac & Cheese Vegrolls. Some of the other unique offerings include twinkies from Prairie Vegan Pies, the plant-based wings from Chicago’s These Wingz, and the Vegan Snickers Bar from Mod Kitsch. 

Tip #8 – Share your experience on social media.

One of the simplest and most effective forms of advocacy is sharing how delicious and fun plant-based eating can be. And you will have plenty of examples of that at the festival. For instance, check out the pineapple smoothie from Jasmine Deli, which is served in a real pineapple. Look out, Instagram!

You can inspire people to try out plant-based eating for themselves by showing your social media followers how exciting vegan foods can be! Use the hashtag #tcvegfest when you post about the festival and to find other’s posts.

Tip #9 – Don’t forget about the non-food elements of the festival.

The food is amazing, and usually steals the show. But there’s so much else to enjoy! Relax in the grass near the mainstage and soak in the live music. Learn about local animal sanctuaries. Sign up for solar. Stock up on gifts and self-care items like cruelty-free and vegan soaps, deodorants, lip balms, and more. There’s even face and body painting!

Tip #10 – Plan for the weather.

Twin Cities fall weather is often unpredictable. Check the forecast before you head out to see if you’ll be more comfortable in a summer outfit or warmer layers. Depending on what is predicted, you may also want to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, or an umbrella. 

Twin Cities Veg Fest 2019 is sure to be our biggest and best festival yet. We’re so glad to have you join us for this fun-filled celebration of compassion! For more information, visit

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