The First Atlantic City Vegan Food Truck Festival Comes to the Showboat
by Nina Contento, SNJ
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The New Jersey VegFest held their first ever Atlantic City Vegan Food Truck Festival outside of the Showboat Hotel, complete with an entirely vegan menu from about 20 different local food trucks.
“I think that some people might think that vegan food is a lot of cardboard and kale, and it’s really not,” said NJ VegFest owner, Marisa Sweeney. “There’s pizza and there’s macaroni and cheese and there all kind of new takes on old favorites.”
The food trucks were mainly local, but others came from Pennsylvania and New York. The goal is to promote a plant-based lifestyle to everyone in the community regardless if they are vegan or not.
“It’s very difficult sometimes to find good vegan food,” said Hope Gentile, Jamison, PA. “And I’m just doing it for the animals. I myself have lost 90 pounds becoming vegan. So, [I] just love the plant-based lifestyle.”
“For me, it helps me just live a better life,” said Lena Di, a wellness entrepreneur. “As a wellness entrepreneur, I like to practice what I preach. And so I like to live a life that’s full of energy and abundance and just being outside and I think that having this lifestyle allows me to do that.” Di will also be involved in the festival’s second day’s events as a vendor.
When it comes to veganism, Sweeney explained that, for many people, it can be difficult sticking with due to a lack of understanding from others and a lack of vegan options around them.
“I think a lot of people may assume that there’s a ‘snooty-ness’ that comes along with veganism, like people are kind of high and mighty and preachy,” said Sweeney. “Nobody is asking you if you’re vegan when you’re walking in the door. Nobody is asking you anything about your lifestyle preferences. All are welcome whether you are vegan or vegetarian or you just want to hang out with your friends.”
Over 5,000 tickets were sold during presale for the two-day event. On Saturday, July 14th, over 200 local vendors and a few motivation speakers, including RZA from the famous Wu-Tang Clan, will be featured inside the Showboat Hotel.
The vegan vendors will be mostly showcasing food and offering samples, but there will also be beauty products, artisan goods, and anything that fits under the vegan umbrella.
You can still purchase tickets at NJVegFest.com.