Crowd in the mood for vegan food

There wasn’t just food at the Hudson Valley Vegan Food Festival. Shoppers could buy lotions that didn’t contain animal by-products.

There wasn’t just food at the Hudson Valley Vegan Food Festival. Shoppers could buy lotions that were free from animal by-products.

The couple joined the others waiting in front of the Cinnamon Snail Food Truck. Then they turned and apologized to the people around them. The line was much longer than they realized. It went straight back and then snaked around the corner. At 3 o’clock there were 60 people waiting at the truck. And the queue for vegetable hot dogs was almost as long.

The occasion was the Hudson Valley Vegan Food Festival, which on Aug. 12 returned to Delano-Hitch Park in Newburgh for a second year. We knew the site from attending soccer matches there (including a Section IX title game a dozen years ago). So we added the festival to the list of places we have visited on a gallon of gas.

Parking a block away, we could hear a young woman singing before we could see any of the vendors. We followed her music until we found the entrance to the festival and paid a small fee to get in.

The vocalist, who was seated in the open in front of a microphone, was entertaining an audience that was virtually hidden under a large tent. When she finished playing, a disc jockey replaced her.

Although most of the vendors sold food, there were other options. You could buy Vegan Festival T-shirts, stop for a tarot card reading, and sample clothes or cosmetics that were not made from animals.

The inscription on the Cinnamon Snail Truck read “Food to help you transform into a being of pure light who can serve all creatures simultaneously and eternally.”

Were the people waiting on line hoping to be transformed or did they just like the taste of the food? We didn’t ask. But the customers appeared to be having a good time.

They were hard to typify. The crowd was varied in age, with an equal number of men and women. We didn’t see many people who were seriously overweight.

We met some people we knew who recommended the crepes and the smoothies. Then we purchased three raffle tickets to support the Newburgh Steelers, a local football team. The top prizes were chances to judge the food contest at 7 o’clock, which was the end of the event. It sounded interesting, but we didn’t wait around to find out if we had won.

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Ken Cashman