NC Live Food Festival celebrates the vegan lifestyle in downtown Greensboro

N.C. Live Food Festival vendors provided samples of vegan-friendly food offerings underneath the bright afternoon sun on Aug. 31.

Heat in the high 80s kept people in the shade at the N.C. Live Food Festival in downtown Greensboro on Saturday, Aug. 31. The heat also made purchasing cold lemonade from one of the vendors at the event terribly tempting. Too bad they were situated in the naked 2 p.m. sunlight in the middle of Center City Park. But despite the heat, a long line of attendees sprouted from both drink booths, patient for a cold refresher as the park’s decorative fountain bubbled nearby.

Around 2,000 people passed through the vegan food festival during its 11 a.m.-4 p.m. run, said Tinece Payne, founder of Greensboro’s Healing Springs Farmacy, which sponsored the free event.

“1,500 people signed up [to attend through Eventbrite] while another 500-plus were walking-through visitors,” said Payne, who also goes by the name Earth Feathur.

Healing Springs Farmacy is a nonprofit cooperative run by women. According to its website,, its mission is “to create safe spaces and create self sufficient educational training to empower.” Healing Springs Farmacy offers workshops focused on educating participants about permaculture, sustainability and natural living. The group also teaches youth how to garden and cook vegan foods.

Along with the popular lemonade booths, a variety of vendors lined the park during the Aug. 31 festival, offering vegan-friendly wares and foods. Near the park’s fountain, the I Really Mean It food truck featured several items on its menu, including the Beyond Meat burger.

All the recent national attention focused on these meatless hamburgers made trying one out necessary for this story.  How else could one taste what the fuss is about, after all?  Verdict: The burger was savory, paired well with the buttered sandwich bread used as buns and was a suitable albeit not-quite-the-same replacement for real meat.

To the left of the drink vendors, past the fountain and near the park’s restrooms, a dance competition of sorts hopped along to the “Cha-Cha Slide.” By the time the wait for lunch had ended for several spectators—about 30 minutes after they joined the line—the music had ended. Guess the DJ had finished his gig as the festival carried on.