We Planted the Seeds...

The First-Ever Veg Fest in Southwest Florida occurred in January 2017 at Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers. Although the weather in the morning was cold and rainy, we had 8-10,000 attendees visit our booths. In year two, we skyrocketed to 15-18,000! 

From its inception, SWFL Veg Fest has been a team effort. The core team formed quickly and has extraordinary talent. This group demonstrates what a small group of passionate people can do!

We are grateful to the many other volunteers who help with planning and event day activities and made the fest what it is. Do YOU want to volunteer for SWFL Veg Fest?  Volunteer signup will be available online soon!

We look forward to growing our fest in year two:
Sunday, February 16, 2020 – Riverside Park in Bonita Springs, Florida

Special thanks go to SWFL Veg Fest 2020 Planners: Debbie Haggett for the Kid Zone, Judy Wagner for the Fitness Zone, Marc Randall for the Fitness Zone, Randy Anderson of Bay Electric for all his help, And Carol Young for her support and laison with FGCU.

Mike Young is the Founder of aPlantBasedDiet.org 501(c)(3) Non-Profit, TriangleGrapeVine.org and FloridaGrapeVine.org. aPlantBasedDiet.org has a website full of food and recipe resources, a YouTube Channel, local community groups, and live in person outdoor festival events up and down the US East Coast. He’s the type of person that’s continually in search of improvement and doing the best he can do with everything. Mike has always been a forward thinker, and this has propelled him into leading a whole foods plant based lifestyle. He believes there’s nothing more important to do today than spread the good news of this lifestyle since everyone and everything benefits! Mike can be found perpetually on social media.

Colby Brownell, Board Member   is a Young Up and Coming Event Planner set to graduate December 2020 from Florida Gulf Coast University, as a Honors Student with a Bachelors in Entrepreneurship and a Minor in Theater. He has fresh ideas, and the energy to follow through on them. Colby has been the President of the FGCU Vegan & Vegetarian Club since August 2019, and was a member for 3 year prior. In February 2020, he launched a new vegan festival at FGCU called FGCU Vegfest, which was extremely well received and later significantly contributed to Vegan & Vegetarian Club winning the 2020 Outstanding Service Award for Student Organizations. Colby was the President of the FGCU Mindful Living organization from April 2018 to September 2020, where he contributed to students maintaining access to mindfulness education and community. Colby believes we need more spaces for people to come together around wellness & health. His responsibility as an event planner is that instead of every event having heavily processed food, and serving alcohol, that events should empower people and make them feel better after. He is in the process of launching his own event planning company and is eager to work with APBD in the meantime as a Board Member creating, designing, & executing event content.

Xylo Zohn Smith-Pajares Xylo Zohn Smith-Pajares, known as XYZo, is aPlantBasedDiet’s newest & youngest board member! Also serving as the Director of Mindfulness for aPlantBasedDiet, XYZo integrates his knowledge of mindfulness & contemplative practices with his entrepreneurial insights to bring unique a perspective & approach to aPlantBasedDiet’s leadership team. His conviction & personal mission of playing his part in the healing the planet drives him forward in his work with the Plant Based Lifestyle. He is excited & optimistic about the positive impact that we can co-create together as a plant based community & beyond!

Brad Talbott is Musical Coordinator for Veg Fest 2019. An avid musician and Fort Myers Organizer for the international Anonymous for the Voiceless movement. Brad has helped organize public art demonstrations along with others around the state of Florida in order to educate the public about the positive effects a plant based diet can have on your health, the environment, and the animals we share this planet with. He has had experience with hosting musical events as President of music club at Florida Gulf Coast University in addition to hosting and assisting local open mic nights throughout the community. 

Special thanks to our volunteers for making SWFL Veg Fest a success!