This past weekend in Dallas, the State Fair of Texas came to a close after three weeks full of fried, fatty food. As an alternative to the fried animal products that are served at the State Fair, DallasVegan.com hosted the Texas State Veggie Fair at Winfrey Point on Sunday afternoon. In just its second year, the vegan and vegetarian fair drew an estimated crowd of 2,500 to the shores of White Rock Lake for food, live music, free yoga, and a vegan fried food competition.
I arrived at the fair about 5 minutes before it the scheduled start time of 11:00 AM, so that I could attend the 11:15 AM yoga class. The only downside of the day was when the organizers of the event had us wait in line for about 20 minutes before we entered, so that all of the vendors could finish setting up for the fair. Apparently the new, expanded venue and larger number of vendors led to some disorganized chaos at the beginning. Around 11:17, I was finally handed a wristband and goodie bag and the fair was underway.
The yoga class, led by Nicole Sopko of Chicago, was held outside overlooking White Rock Lake. It felt good to stretch my legs and lower back after my half marathon on Saturday, although it was the first time I have ever taken a yoga class with a rock band playing live music in the background. As our instructor put it, “Get ready for the loudest savasana of your life.”
After the yoga class, I checked out several of the booths who were giving out information on nutrition, vegetarian and vegan diets, and animal rights. The atmosphere was fun and animal friendly, with lots of dogs as well as families enjoying the slightly overcast day along the lake.
By this time, I was getting hungry so it was time to check out all of the food vendors. First I started with the food samples from Hail Merry which make raw, vegan, gluten-free snacks. Both the coconut macaroons and chocolate tart were delicious. Then I tried the newest product from Honest Tea, the CocoaNova. I actually prefer the flavored teas over the cocoa line.
There were so many options for lunch that I had a hard time choosing what to eat. The vendors were selling organic juice, tofu breakfast tacos, tamales, vegan corn dogs, frito pie, ice cream, cookies, brownies and cupcakes. Apparently fair food was the theme, because I did not see any real veggies being served, unless you count the ones going into the juicer. I was torn between the food trucks and Spiral Diner but it was the pumpkin cupcake that ultimately led me to the very long line in front of the Spiral Diner booth.
Sticking with the State Fair atmosphere, I ordered the vegan frito pie. It was covered in “meat” (I assume it was seitan), black beans, vegan cheese and some red onions. Halfway through, I started to wish that I had someone to share my lunch with so that I could go back and try more food. I think I would have gone for the vegan corn dog and fried pickles.
Ultimately, I was too full for dessert so I boxed up my cupcake to take home for later. By the time I left the fair around 1:30 that afternoon, the lines for lunch were getting longer and the parking lots were packed. The second annual Texas State Veggie Fair was a big success and I can’t wait to see how it grows and expands again next year.