By Yhanni Guadalupe-Butcher, A Bohemian Vegan

On a wonderfully warm and sunny Saturday afternoon in Chimborazo Park in Richmond, Va thousands gathered to experience the inaugural Soul Vegan Block Party. This event was loaded with things to do, from food trucks to fitness sessions, speakers and vendors. Local food trucks, such as Goatocado and Hungry Turtle, dished out amazing food. There were also oh, so many delicious out-of-state food options such as the Bumbling Bee and Hempburger. Besides food, yoga and fitness sessions, inspirational vegans also spoke and gave cooking demos. 

The main mission from the organizers of this event was to encourage attendees to “Eat, dance and Laugh…Together”. Attendees did just that. With the Dj spinning great cuts, food vendors slinging out their best food options along with Vegan-and Veg-Curious attendees engaging with each other, this event brought the community together in the name of exposing and celebrating healthier options. 

One of the event’s speakers was Donta’ Harris, a vegan ambassador and athlete who shared his story on veganism. Special guest speaker Angela Kaaya- Means, popular for her role in the movie Friday, shared her story on how she went vegan and how she gives back by starting a vegan restaurant in Jefferson Park, California. Dani McGhee gave a wonderful cooking demo and had a Q&A with the crowd to answer any questions from veg-curious attendees.

Vegan Action reached out to our followers on Facebook to hear some responses from attendees at the festival. One person stated that they loved the consistent reminders of the event prior to it happening and the vegan demos held at the 25th Street market leading up to the event. There were also many collective responses about the unique and spacious location. Some Facebook followers said that Chimborazo Park was a wonderful space to hold a festival and that there would be more room to grow for future years to come. We also agreed with this and are looking forward to next year’s event! Soul Vegan Block Party did its part to make sure the event was as environmentally friendly as possible. Several recycling stations were located around the park so that attendees could do their part to help the earth in an accessible manner. Another facebook attendee said the event was  “Very well planned, the food trucks were in the shade which was a SMART move, the variety of activities was awesome, the food was on point, the music/DJ kept a nice flow, and the diversity of non-vegan/vegan/POC/non-POC/ages/etc was great… For it being their first year, I couldn’t have asked for something better, can’t wait until the next one!”

Soul Vegan Block Party was a wonderful addition to the many Richmond Festivals that run from May to October. As an attendee, I loved being a part of it as I have not heard about many vegan events geared to Vegans of Color in Richmond. I personally enjoyed connecting with many local Vegans, who I may or may not have met otherwise. I really appreciated seeing so many friendly people. It’s awesome to see this inclusion here in this area! We can’t wait to join and celebrate next year at the Soul Vegan Block Party and we hope you come out too!