What: The WorldFest 2008 Earth Day Festival
Where: Encino, Calif.
When: May 10, 2008
Why: To represent the magazine and support the vegan community
The Scoop: Having encountered delayed flights, extremely tardy rental-car shuttles, closed restaurants, and less-than-scrupulous driving directions—only to arrive at our hotel to discover that the hot tub had closed for the evening—well, let’s just say that we were happy to hit our Sleep Number beds and begin a new day.
With the aid of a good night's sleep, hot showers, and a sparkly blue PT Cruiser, we made our way to LA’s largest Earth Day Festival to staff the VN booth and check out the cool roster of speakers and exhibitors. We were particularly interested in what was going on at the Field Roast booth, (um, hello apple-sage sausages!), but equally drawn to the non-food-centric Angels in Fur Dog Rescue booth, one of several non-profit dog-adoption groups present.
Event organizers Jill Hahn and Billy Hulting made us feel right at home, greeting us with warm smiles and much-appreciated VIP passes. Having plenty of trade- and consumer-show experiences under our collective belt, we knew to expect inquisitive, hungry crowds, but we were both surprised and downright moved to discover a solar-powered, completely vegan celebration of the earth and its inhabitants. Watching the diverse, upbeat crowds filing in under the bright SoCal sun and perusing the aisles of planet-friendly booths, it became clear that this event was about more than just subscriptions-hustling or networking. This was a chance to witness all kinds of compassionate folk coming together to honor and learn about the importance of empathy, non-violence, and responsible living, as well as the interdependence of the environmental-, human-, and animal-rights movements.
Okay, that's enough. I promised myself I wouldn't cry.