It started as a facebook conversation in June of 2015.
Why (it was wondered "aloud" to whomever was reading that day) wasn't there a large scale vegan expo and festival in an area like the Hudson Valley, a place literally filled with vegetables and veg farms, and home to many vegan startups, meetups and organizations?"
The conversation continued and the rest, as they say, is history. Putting in two years of preparation and work, friends Sande Nosonowitz and Rebecca Moore created this vibrant, first class, 100% vegan, inspiration-packed vegan festival for their hometown region, the Hudson Valley. Hudson Valley Vegfest debuted in September of 2017, bringing in 2500 people to the incredible, 42,000 square foot indoor event space known as "The Net" at Gold's Gym in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Now entering our third year and debuting in Ulster County at an exciting cultural space and creative hub in Kingston NY, the festival and production team continues to grow and expand, and we are truly proud that festival net proceeds, as of our year two, all go to supporting the work and growth of The Institute for Animal Happiness, a unique "microsanctuary" animal rescue, advocacy and humane education 501(c)3 organization in Woodstock NY. Festival proceeds from 2017 have gone to enhancing animal housing and care, increasing access to medical care for the residents and supporting the educational outreach efforts of this special animal haven.
The beautiful Hudson Valley - its people, wildlife and all animals, natural wonders, amazing farmers, communities and businesses - deserves an event that not only showcases the healthy, sustainable and compassionate lifestyle communities that are rooted here, but which aims to attract and foster more growth in these sectors. With veganism a growing, exciting revolution (and billion dollar industry) HVVF showcases the absolute best of everything kind and green, vegetable, plant-based, healthy, regenerative, sustainable and compassionate in the HV, while at the same time throwing down the welcome mat to people, organizations and businesses from all over who are on the cutting edge of positive change. We knew it was time - and crucial - to put a bigger spotlight on vegan awareness and humane education in this area and demonstrate the potential for the Hudson Valley to be a leader and center in the new and wildly expanding vegan economy.
Whether you take part as a sponsor, vendor, speaker or presenter, whether you attend by yourself or with friends or your entire class, Hudson Valley Vegfest is a joyful experience you won't forget!
Rebecca, Brian and Helena
Co-producers, Hudson Valley Vegfest