Sunday, August 30, 2009

Going Grape at Critical Mass

So I am so into promoting Chicago VeganMania, that I'll go to extremes to make sure everyone knows about it. So I went right into the center of Chicago's street activist scene, Chicago Critical Mass.

If you're not familiar with Critical Mass, at evening rush hour on the last Friday of the month, hundreds (or in Chicago's case thousands) of cyclists take to the streets in a giant mass starting from a place where they can disrupt the greatest amount of automobile traffic (in Chicago's case, Daley Plaza). It's one part eco-revolution, one part consciousness raising, and about four parts party on wheels. The crowd are the exact kind of free thinking active colorful folks that we have designed Chicago VeganMania for. So in the place where the spirits of bicycle activism and vegan revolution merge, I decided to pedal downtown from Oak Park pulling a trailer carrying an oversized papier mache grapes costume, don said costume, and spread through the crowd to hand out flyers, before cruising with the mass of riders through the streets of Chicago wearing the same costume, which was neither easy nor remotely safe.

Despite being called a Fruit of the Loom guy more often than a couple of times it went very well. I handed out more than a 150 postcards, and had dozens of dare I say "fruitful" conversations. Quite a few people were already aware of Chicago VeganMania, planning to attend, and truly excited about it. Many more were thrilled to hear about it, and wanting to know more. More than a dozen people identified themselves as vegan, including three angelic young women who gave me a delicious vegan chocolate chip cookie. All told, it was a great evening.

Promotional season is starting to heat up even as summer is starting to cool down (not that it ever really got warm this year). Keep your eyes open, You never know where you'll see a veganmaniac next.


Anonymous said...
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Nicole said...

Nice! I sent an email to you a few weeks ago asking about booth space at VeganMania with no response. Is it possible to participate, still? (Also, if you are living in OP, I am just over the border in Berwyn.)

VeganMania said...
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VeganMania said...

Hi Nicole,
Sorry about that. We must have missed your message. We'd love to have you there. Could you please resend it to us?

Marla said...

Very cool, Johnnycakes, who's not afraid to look a little silly while spreading the word hither and yon!