Yesterday Max and I went to the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. Next year, I think we’ll pass.
The venue was packed to capacity, and the crowds were pushy and rude. I had envisioned a laid-back and friendly atmosphere, but the swarms of people crawling down Tremont Street, and the already filled to capacity parking lot at the Reggie Lewis Center should have clued me in to the madness inside the Festival. James asked if there was an entrance fee, which I think is an excellent suggestion for the BVS to consider for future events. Raise money for a good cause or two, and maybe trim the freeloading throngs just a little, and I’d be willing to give the Festival another chance.
Immediately after entering the hall, I heard the people staffing the Larabar booth plead with onlookers to only take one of each flavor. Rather sad commentary on our society that a crowd of healthy-seeming, mostly middle class appearing adults feel the need to push past one another to grab handfuls of free samples. Whole Foods gave away large, paper grocery bags near the front doors and it seemed the majority of attendees were there to pack as much free shit as they could into their already overstuffed bags. (For the record, my own haul consisted of a trick-or-treat sized chocolate Larabar, and a sample tube of Tom’s of Maine toothpaste.)
The vendors and organizations we were able to talk with were mostly super friendly, which almost made up for the push-and-shove of the crowds. Max prompted more than a couple of smiling people to dart out from their table and hand him a lollipop or other sweet. When we reached The Boston Vegan Association, to my embarrassment Max reached over and helped himself to a finger-full of icing from a BVA decorated cupcake. The combination of letters and frosting was too much of a temptation for him to ignore. So, if anyone reading imagines me forcing sprouted lentils and steamed tempeh on my toddler, rest assured that he receives plenty of fat and sugar in his not-so standard American diet.
Next stop: Disneyland. Since our renovations have been delayed once again, we’re going to California to worship the Mouse. But not until December.