Tampa Bay VegFest ® 2023
This was our 12th year of organizing this incredible event. According to city and park officials, it was the largest event they have ever had at Perry Harvey Sr. Park! The vendors and the variety were amazing, and the food incredibly delicious. Several food vendors reported running out of food at least one hour before closing.
Putting on an event like this takes an incredible amount of time, and a great many volunteers. Each person who helped mattered and truly made a difference. Each area was popping all day with our vendors, guests, and volunteers. Everyone was having a great time, and many said they could not wait for our next TBVF.
We had amazing speakers, delightful food demos, fantastic music, and relaxing yoga sessions throughout the day. Special thanks to our FVA Board members, who led out in many areas and helped with planning: Laura Weiss, volunteer scheduler; Trevor Chin, Treasurer and helper in multiple areas; Kim Gronemeyer, the free food samples area coordinator; Brittany Livingston, Kid’s Zone coordinator; Suzanne House staffed the FVA table; Amber Simpson, social media.
There are many other volunteers who helped us to make TBVF such a special occasion: Susannah Sherman coordinated the special Kid Zone activities; Jacinda Shapiro and Ted Ellquist coordinated the speaker’s area; Vegan Evan introduced the speakers; Jacinda also coordinated media stories with some of our speakers and a cooking demo with Chef Thalia; Brian Brown, performed and coordinated the music; Florence Marsan made signs for all the activity areas and helped all day with the cooking demos; Christine Ferro, led a yoga session and coordinated the area; Demetria Laousis, was the artist who created our beautiful t-shirt art; Maria Bott, created our event program; Meredith Tenouri brought coffee for all the volunteers; and Truddie Reif, our new social media coordinator, helped tremendously in promoting all the activities.
This year we were also extremely fortunate to have Harland Hill assisting Chris and Myriam with the all day before, and the day of, set-up and vendors. A few others who helped all day before, and in several other areas as needed, include Brent and Dani Hall, Laura Pennington, and Ron Gray.
Finally, we would like to thank the city and park officials, who helped us throughout the entire process. They were extremely professional and helped as needed. It is impossible to thank everyone enough for all of your efforts. There are many more who deserve kudos for your contributions; just know we are grateful for everyone and everything that each of you did to help!
We also held a fundraiser event this year at Aloft Tampa, on 11/3/23, the night before TBVF. This fun event was coordinated by Chris and Myriam, and featured most of our speakers: emcee Duncan Strauss from Talking Animals, WMNF, and two local rescues: Compassion Kind, led out by founder, Aja Nikiya, and Mercy Full Project, led out by founder, Heydi Acuna. Aja and Heydi gave brief talks about their rescues. All proceeds from this successful event were shared with the two rescue organizations.
There are so many more to thank, including our amazing sponsors: Aloft Tampa, Tampa Bay Times, Sanctuary at Solid Rock, Solid Rock Community School, WMNF, Talking Animals, Brittany Livingston Realtor, Nutrition Smart, Veterinary Emergency Group, PBLM, Friends of Manatees, Pro-copy, Cathy Unruh, Myriam and Bill Parham, Keith Roghair, Laura Pennington, and Ron Gray. Please see a copy of our event program for a list of our speakers, chefs, yoga instructors, musicians, and sponsors’ logos.
Everyone, start thinking about how you will help with our 13th Annual TBVF in 2024! Date TBA.
With our deep gratitude,
Myriam Parham, Event Co-coordinator and Chris Lichfoldt, Event Co-coordinator & Vendor Coordinator