Schedule of Events

Date/Time: August 7th, 2022

  • Main Festival 12pm-6pm

Location: Buffalo Riverworks

Directions and other FAQ

2022 Schedule

12:00 – Yoga with DeChantell Lloyd

1:00 – Food as Activism cooking demo by Maxine Grabowski

2:00 – Learn How to Make Fried Oyster Mushrooms with Oboseoye Ojeaga

3:00 – Creating a More Compassionate World for the Animals by Vanessa Dawson from Penelope’s Place the Sanctuary

4:00 – Zumba with Nettie!

4:00 – Kidzone: “Yay For Yoga!” Storytime with Mari

5:00 – Finding Health and Happiness Through a Plant-Based Lifestyle by Tim Kaufman


12:00PM – Yoga with DeChantell

DeChantell is a fun loving yoga teacher and wellness expert, pursuing medicine.  Her fierce and urban style of yoga is refreshing and her motivation to make wellness accessible in all communities is inspiring. DeChantell specializes in transitioning students to a studio practice and a healthy lifestyle. She is also the founder of Living Well with DeChantell and Code Blu Juice Bar. During her free time she loves studying nutrition, philosophy, anatomy, and yogic disciplines. She appreciates art and the power of stillness, to calm the mind.

DeChantells healthy lifestyle choices is what attracts many people to her practice. She has written a eBook, writes for online publications, teaches throughout the community, and conducts workshops and wellness retreats internationally. Please join us in the community and remember to bring a mat.

1:00PM – Food as Activism cooking demo by Maxine Grabowki

Maxine Grabowski has years of restaurant experience, from managing to cooking and baking, to owning her own business. Many of you will remember 96 Lives Vegan Bakery & Cafe, which was Buffalo’s first 100% vegan bakery. Maxine was the owner, cook, and baker. Her baked goods, hot food items, and infectious joy led to a thriving business in Lancaster, NY. Maxine is retired now, but not slowing down. She continues to invest in the community in multiple ways, and dedicates a portion of her time to animal activism. She has always believed that the best way to promote change, is through the taste buds. She will speak on this topic, food as activism, while demonstrating how to make her famous vegan breakfast sandwiches.

2:00 – Learn How to Make Fried Oyster Mushrooms with Oboseoye Ojeaga

Hello, my name is Oboseoye Ojeaga and I am the founder of Plant Soul Vegan. We are a plant based company bringing awareness to plant based eating through workshops, pop up dinners and social media content. Our mission is to make eating a plant based diet as easy as possible for you by informing you where to source local ingredients and sharing recipes. We are excited and looking forward to being a part of Veg Fest this year. See you all there!



3:00PM – Creating a More Compassionate World for the Animals by Vanessa Dawson from Penelope’s Place the Sanctuary

Vanessa Dawson is the co-founder and president of Penelope’s Place the Sanctuary, a not for profit Rescue and Sanctuary located in Akron, NY.  Penelope’s Place is a vegan sanctuary that specializes in farmed birds.  The animals will never be used for their eggs or meat and serves as a place of education about living a compassionate life toward all beings.

Vanessa’s talk will be about her experiences through her rescue work and activism and how we can all do our part to make the world a better place for all beings.

4:00PM – Zumba with Nettie!

My name is Nettie and I am your Zumba® instructor. I have been licensed for 7 1/2 years and hold licenses in many of Zumba®’s formats, including Kids/Kids Jr, Aqua Zumba®, and more. I love teaching Zumba® classes because of the party vibe and that it really doesn’t feel like a workout! I am excited to share my passion for music and movement with you.

Perfect For: Everybody and every body! Each Zumba® class is designed to bring people together to sweat it out.

How It Works: We take the “work” out of workout, by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. Once the Latin and World rhythms take over, you’ll see why Zumba® Fitness classes are often called exercise in disguise. Super effective? Check. Super fun? Aaaaand check.

Benefits: A total workout, combining all elements of fitness – cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility, boosted energy and a serious dose of awesome each time you leave class. Maybe find a new genre of music you never appreciated before!

4:00PM – Kidzone: “Yay For Yoga!” Storytime with Mari

Mari has had a passion for the arts and teaching since she was young, which inspired her to earn her Master of Education from The Ohio State University and K-12 Teaching Certification. She has used the magic of words, music and mindful movement to connect with children of all ages. In the ever-busy world, Mari invites children and adults to slow down, breathe and reminds us that yoga and mindfulness are accessible and fun.

President & CEO of Mari Fox Wellness, a heart-centered company that helps kids, adult,s and seniors manage stress in healthy ways and promotes positive mental health and well-being through mindful movement sessions and self-care products. Mari lives with her life partner and doggy in Western New York.

5:00PM – Finding Health and Happiness Through a Plant-Based Lifestyle by Tim Kaufman

Tim Kaufman of FatManRants was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) in his early twenties.  He was in chronic pain most of his life. By the time he had reached the age of 37 he was addicted to Fentanyl, alcohol, and fast food. At over 400 pounds he was unable to perform simple daily tasks. He had many chronic health issues and was almost immobile. He had lost his interest in life and had almost given up. Tim started a journey to regain his health. He started to change one small thing at a time. He is now an athlete that thrives on a plant-based whole food lifestyle and leads a healthy, happy, productive, and very active life that is free of all medications he was once on. His passion is to spread the message that anyone can transition to a healthy, active lifestyle and dramatically change their life regardless of their current situation or size.

Tim has appeared on Podcasts from around the world and has been filmed for upcoming movies. He has been featured in Runners World Magazine, Good Morning America, Today, People, WebMd, ESPN, and many other media outlets.

Tim uses his platform as an international speaker to educate, inform and motivate people about plant-based nutrition, fitness, addiction recovery, overcoming physical challenges, and emotional and spiritual wellness.

Food Drive

WNY VegFest is happy to sponsor a Vegan Food Drive at the festival to benefit Buffalo Food Not Bombs, a group which gives free healthy food to anyone who is hungry. Please bring any non-perishable vegan food items to the event. FNB has suggested rice, canned or dry beans, lentils, whole grains, pasta, olive oil, balsamic or apple cider vinegar, flours, teas, coffee, sea salt, or other vegan items.

Items will be collected at the Food Not Bombs booth throughout the day!

Join us at the Festival! Buffalo and Western New York have seen an explosion of interest in health, compassion, and plant-based eating over the last few years. With the creation and growth of groups like Buffalo Vegetarian Society, WNY Vegans, Animal Advocates of WNY, and ASHA Animal Sanctuary, the local community is eagerly anticipating WNY VegFest.

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