Where the Vegetable is King: First-Ever Vegan Festival Begins in Dutchess County


Eating a compassionate, plant-based diet is likely one of the best things you can do for yourself and the planet. If you already set the vegan table, are thinking about it, or are simply curious to learn more, prepare to be inspired and entertained at the first-ever Hudson Valley VegFest taking place on Saturday, September 23, and Sunday, September 24, at Gold's Gym in Poughkeepsie.

After two years of planning by activists Sande Nosonowitz and Rebecca Moore, the weekend festival spotlights innovators and influencers making waves on the plant-based culinary front, in the arenas of food justice, with compassion for animals and environmental sustainability.

"This celebration is for everyone - you'll absolutely be able to take in the energy that will be inspiring, joyous and life-changing," says Sande Nosonowitz. "If you are veg-curious - come explore, enjoy, eat and immerse yourself in the vegan vibe. If you are already vegan... well, welcome to paradise in Poughkeepsie," she continues.

Adds Rebecca Moore: “It really is time that the Hudson Valley and Dutchess County get a fun festival featuring delicious food that goes beyond just appealing to our palates - that cares more and wants change that fosters growth, that highlights innovative products and lets inspiring speakers teach, and that brings out the best in all of us."


Plant-based food companies, including Mindful Kitchens, which produces a delicious line of seitan-based charcuterie right here in Beacon, are on the lengthy VegFest vendor list. Lagusta’s Luscious, one of the Hudson Valley’s innovators with a national following, will be there with their stunning line of artisanal vegan chocolates.  

Other vendors will present beautiful non-toxic health and beauty products and cruelty-free clothing lines. Organizations working hard to forward a more humane and compassionate world will discuss their important work and outline avenues for involvement and volunteering. 

Cooking and fitness demonstrations will abound, and an impressive lineup of luminaries in the plant-based world, like best-selling author and inspirational vegan guru Victoria Moran, will take the stage. Celebrated vegan pastry chef Fran Costigan, known as “the queen of vegan desserts” will instruct and entice festivalgoers with her marvelous confections.

The festival is September 23 and 24, from 10 am to 6 pm both days, at Gold’s Gym at 258 Titusville Road, Poughkeepsie, NY. Their huge indoor space known as “The Net” covers over 42,000 square feet – ample space for the festival and attendees. VegFest tickets are $10 per adult, while children 10 and under enjoy free admission. For detailed information on the festival, including vendors and speakers, check out www.hvvegfest.org.