Happy New Year and VegWorcester 2011 In Review
Posted by Manda Rose.
So, the new year is already in full force and you’ve likely started your new yearâ€™s resolution of cutting cheese out of your diet or turning your Meatless Mondays into Meatless Everyday. Heck, maybe youâ€™re already vegan and your goal is to finally make that taco recipe from Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan or spend some time volunteering at Maple Farm Sanctuary.
VegWorcester is setting our goals for the new year as well and we’re getting psyched to make some big announcements soon about our upcoming VegFest. It got us thinking; maybe we should briefly pause to reflect on the kick ass things that happened during the last 12 months in the microcosm of Worcester from a veg-head point of view.Â So, here goes…
- VegWorcester started the year off strong by hosting our second Mac Daddy Mac Nâ€™ Cheeze Cook-off, and the winner was WooDaddy Waffles!
- Duck Yao, the formerly underground vegan eatery made a comeback in Worcester, opening a small sit-in and take-out restaurant on Main Street in Worcester.
- VegWorcester members took trips to view veg-themed films such as Forks Over Knives in Boston and a showing of Bold Native at WPI in Worcester.
- In April, VegWorcester hosted the 2nd annual Worcester VegFest. We estimate that approximately 3,000 attendees came to the event at Worcester State University that included speakers Bruce Friedrich, Tracye McQuirter, Will Potter, and an awesome cooking demo by Terry Hope Romero. We had family-friendly performances, 40+ ethical and cruelty-free exhibitors, coverage in a variety of online/print/news media, and feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
- After a city-wide crackdown on curiously tasty vegan cupcakes (Okay, we’re exaggerating there,)VegWorcester’s vegan bake sale fundraiser was shut down. In response, we took it upon ourselves to legalize bake sales in the city of Worcester.
- VegWorcester started a more regular monthly general volunteer meeting where we discuss ideas for vegan outreach and invite anyone who is interested to join us and get involved.
- VegWorcester raised money with your help and created a snazzy updated Summer version of the Worcester Vegetarian Dining Guide. 5,000 copies were distributed over the summer around Worcester County. 5,000 more copies of a newly updated Fall version of the guide have also now been distributed in the thousands! …..Wow!
- Volunteers leafleted at local universities and events, and did a ton of tabling outreach at just about every summer and fall festival in out city including the 3th Annual Pet Rock Festival, Start on The Street: Spring Edition, 2011 Fall StART On The Street, King St. Block Party, Open Road Festival, 21st Century Worcester Pride, Main Street Celebrates, and more.
- As a community with many animal activists, we joined with other local groups and protested Ringling Circus, Fur as “fashion,” McDonalds cruelty, and other animal abuses.
- Local animal rights defenders such as Michael Budkie of SAEN and Alexis Fox of The Humane Society came to Worcester to educate about abuses in our own state and what we can do as a community to have the most impact.
- In the fall many of us enjoyed vegan “Thanks-living” celebrations such as the free SAVVY Vegan Thanksgiving at Clark University.
- Loving Hut celebrated 2 years of Loving Hut Buffet fundraisers, and continued to donate 10% of buffet profits to VegWorcester to support our outreach to help animals.
- Finally, to close out the year with a bang, VegWorcester hosted its 1st annual Holiday Vegan Cookie Swap complete with a vegan Santa. We had 24 entrants with bakers swapping over 1,500 vegan cookies!
If you’re interested in getting involved with VegWorcester or the 3rd annual Worcester VegFest, come to our General – Volunteer Meeting this Tuesday, January 17th @ WPI (Taylor Room – Campus Ctr) from 7pm~8:30pm and we’ll get you up to speed on what we have planned for 2012!
January 16, 2012 Tags: 2011, review, Vegfest2011, worcester vegfest 2011 Posted in: 2011 Veg Dining Guide, Activism, Animal Rights, Events, Leafleting, Tabling & Outreach, Misc, Worcester VegFest 2011