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The Florida Vegan Gourmet Food Festival

Contributor: Maxine Harrell

Tampa, FL., July 27, 2019Florida Vegan Gourmet Food Festival welcomed vegan and non-vegan people alike to enjoy meals, snacks, desserts, jewelry, apparel, and lifestyle equipment on behalf of over 40 vendors. Guests had an amazing time learning about the vegan lifestyle, observing informative chef demonstrations, participating in yoga and meditation sessions, and relaxing on the lawn with family and friends on a sunny day at the USF Botanical Gardens.

At the beautifully natural venue, guests kicked off the event with a cooking demonstration by Good Mood Foods about making Sunday Football style appetizers followed by Chef Hazel with Better Me Foods with her Vegan Quinoa Bowls.

Instructor Mitchell of Maisha Yoga led highly popularized Hot Yoga in the private meditation area of the event. Guests focused on their Zen and became one with their surroundings in between filling their bellies with the hidden food gems in the vivacious area of the event during three different sessions throughout the evening.

The All-Access area featured complimentary hors d’oeuvres from Ciccio Cali - New Tampa, tasty refreshers from Topo Chico and wine in the private Bamboo Lounge with their recyclable and BPA-free City Festivals souvenir cup in addition to a sample package of Orgain Organic and Plant-Based protein shake powder created by cancer survivor and doctor, Dr. Andrew Abraham.

The festival kept its promise to create awareness for the benefits of the vegan lifestyle by having Dr. Angelo S Morini with Anutra Grain help dispel false rumors about low protein in plant-based diets through educating the attendees about plant-based omega-3s.

The DJ serenaded festival-goers with trendy chill music while attendees hung out picnic-style in the grass with blankets and goodies all day long. Later that evening, guests enjoyed a special treat of jazz selection by talented trumpeter and performer, Caleb Joseph. Our 8 o’clock raffle was a big hit including a spontaneous dance-off with some of the happy kids attending the event.

The event ended with demonstration by Pastry Chef Sarah of Gaia Donuts on making the perfect Pinterest-ready cake with all-natural toppings. Guests loved the instructional demo about how to make vegan banana pudding by Chef Anthony Dunlop of Roving Chef Logistics. The free samples were awesome too!

The organizers are so honored to have been able to put together an event which showcases the awesome nature of the vegan lifestyle as well as to make steps towards bringing the community together through understanding and embracing what may be unfamiliar for some.

Bromley, one of the finalists of the Patriotic Paw Walk at the Tampa Red White & Blue Festival

Tampa, FL., July 8, 2019The Tampa Red White & Blue Festival presented by Blue Bunny Ice Cream brought lots of All American family fun, food, and free ice cream to its new location at Grand Central at Kennedy and Madison Street.

After waiting for the rain to cease, the event kicked off in grand style with a warm welcome by dogs all across the Bay in their red, white and blue strolling down Madison Street for the Patriotic Paw Walk. A new and unique feature of the event this year, the walk which was hosted by New Barker Magazine had the crowd in awe and adoration. Swag bags filled with goodies were awarded to all participating dogs owners and special prizes were issued to the best dressed dogs which included a cute yorkie name Bromley who came strolling on a wagon in red, white, and blue.

The Best Dressed Kids Contestants were too cute

Just when everyone thought the cuteness ended with the dogs, the event later welcomed a Best Dressed Kid contest highlighting our tiniest patriots, and later the the youngest people in the city displaying independence, literally. That’s right, the festival brought to stage four of Tampa’s top kid bosses for the 2nd staging of the Tampa Kids CEO Award.

Among this years awardees were - 8 year old Antonio Jackson - Owner of Tony’s Tea, 7 year old Emily Gorman - Owner of Adorna Vida, 7 year old Bentley Rogers - Patient Ambassador of Shriners Hospital for Children, and 11 year old Jordan Parramore of Jordan’s Juice Bar. All four CEOs were thrilled with the opportunity to sell their featured products at the festival and was acknowledged on stage with gifts and certificates from City Festivals to congratulate them. The Top Kid CEO of the Year, Emily Gorman which was determined by online public voting championed with an additional award presented by I9 Sports.

The celebration continued in the streets with giveaways including free ice cream from Blue Bunny, Sunpass top ups, and live performances by local sensation, Sweetiee Keedy, Tara B, F & R Band, and Trumpeter, Jevon Falcon.

Among the crowd engaging activities for the evening was the intense Family Food Eating Contest where the WILD 94.1 Family vs The Gabby Family were given a variation of All - American bites from featured vendors with the goal of feeding each other faster than the other team. A hard-earned tie resulted in an epic dance battle that will go down in festival history!

Admission to the festival was free for all guests and is set to return next year to bring joy to your 4th of July!

The Tampa Red White & Blue Festival is made possible, thanks to the hardworking team of City Festivals and the sponsorship of community supporters including Grand Central at Kennedy, Sunpass, CBD American Shaman, Tmobile, El Dorado Furniture, New Barker, Club Wydhnam, Top Golf, Tampa Downtown Partnership, Pina Power, and this year’s presenting sponsor Blue Bunny Ice Cream!

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