Today we held the "4th Annual Vegan BBQ in the Park" in Port Orange, Florida (Daytona Beach area), to celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month. I don't think the area is big enough to support a veg fest, so this has been our big event each year for four years now. And it's great!
We hold this event so we can invite the community to come out and participate in a completely vegan BBQ. We end up with tables filled with vegan food, giving people a chance to see and taste an awesome display of food. We at the Daytona Beach Vegetarian Society provide all the vegan burgers and dogs, condiments, drinks, cups/plates/forks, etc. We ask that people who attend bring a vegan dish to share. This can be anything they want to bring, so long as it's vegan (e.g., a gallon of tea, fresh fruit, potato salad, etc.). We end up with so many wonderful vegan options! We usually have 3-4 picnic tables filled with food.
We also give away prizes. Everyone that attends gets to put their name in for a prize and we do random drawings, starting an hour into the BBQ. This year we had 25 prizes to give away, which was great! We had some wonderful prizes to give away this year, including:
- Free product coupons from Sunshine Burger, Tofurky, Earth's Balance, and Gardein.
- A gift certificate for Cinematique, located in Daytona Beach, for a night out at the movies.
- Two gift certificates from Cafe Verde, located in New Smyrna Beach.
- Two gift certificates from Delectable Delights, located in South Daytona.
- A gift certificate for Ethos Vegan Kitchen, located in Winter Park (Orlando area).
- A vegan Shakeology kit by Better Health and Fitness by Michelle Rutkowski.
- And a wonderful gift pack from Love's Whole Foods that was loaded with great vegan samples, coupons, and more.
We also had lots of coupons to give away, literature, recipes, and more. Doing an event like this takes a lot of work by those who volunteer (thank you!) to help, as well as provide support, including those who donate prizes. We also had wonderful support from VegFund, who helped make the event possible, Sunshine Burger for providing lots of burgers, and Love's Whole Foods, who donated all the buns that we used for the event!
Thank you to to everyone who helped make it possible for us to have this event. It's a community event and it takes a collaborative effort to pull it off. The community loves the event, it helps to promote Vegetarian Awareness Month, and I look forward to doing it all again next year for our 5th one!
One more thing worth noting is that we never compromise on being environmentally friendly. From the start I have insisted we recycle and we use all eco friendly disposables. Our cups, plates, and forks are all biodegradable and gone within 21 days of being in the landfill. Our napkins are made from recycled materials. Drinks are in gallon-size containers and poured into the biodegradable cups (rather than individual bottles/servings). I bring the recycling home to put at the curb. Never sacrifice one cause to promote another. If you are caring for the planet you are also caring for the animals who inhabit it!
You can see lots of pictures from this event on our Facebook page here.