German Rivera is not only a connoisseur of Long Beach’s vegan options, which he shares on his Instagram page, but he also hosts vegan events here in Long Beach! These local events are an extension of his favorite things: DJing, drinking beer, and eating delicious vegan food. And Green Saturday, the original event that started it all, is this Saturday, Aug. 25.
Green Saturday is an event that occurs in Long Beach three to four times a year at the Long Beach Petroleum Club in Bixby Knolls. At the last Green Saturday, 800-900 people of all ages came out to support 50+ vegan vendors.
Green Saturday is essentially a vegan marketplace with an emphasis on food. This means one will find vegan skincare, clothing, food, etc.! From vegan burgers, nachos, donuts, soul food, and sushi, a family that frequents places like the Veggie Grill will surely enjoy this event. And as more vegan options make their way into Long Beach, it seems residents are enjoying more animal-free options.
“It’s been great seeing all the different changes and the growth of the community,” Rivera said.
This weekend’s Green Saturday will be the 11th installment! However, the event hasn’t always been in Long Beach. Green Saturday first began at the Alpine Village in Torrance where German once worked.
He had the idea to use an open space and host an event that was a vegan marketplace. So he teamed up with his friend Mary Medellin, who’s no stranger to social media herself. On Mary’s Instagram, she shares many plant-based options with close to 16,000 followers. Together, they co-founded Green Saturday.
After Green Saturday’s initial success, German wanted to bring more events to Long Beach, which led him to host vegan pop-ups at Fourth Street Vine and The Hawk.
“Out of my experience with [Green Saturday] and just having connections with the vendors, I wanted to do something that was more local; let’s hang out and have good beer and food,” Rivera said.
His first pop-up, the Vegan Social at Fourth Street Vine, offers people a place to drink, listen to music, try vegan food and shop vegan merchandise. The vegan pop-ups at the Hawk Bar, which happen in the parking lot, invites the community to eat vegan food and drink (if you’re 21 and over.)
“That’s exactly my personal satisfaction—that whole idea of exposing people to new food and especially people that probably wouldn’t have tried anything if they hadn’t been there,” Rivera said.
This weekend’s Green Saturday will not only serve one’s taste buds, it will also benefit a non-profit. A large portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Whiskers and Tails Foundation, a pet-rescue organization whose mission is to prevent animal cruelty and find safe homes for dogs and cats.
Whether you are curious or an experienced vet in the vegan food scene, all are welcome at Green Saturday on Aug. 25 at the Petroleum Club in Bixby Knolls. Come with an appetite because there will be vegan tamales, Indian food, and chocolates, in addition to vegan clothing, beauty products, and much more! And for more vegan pop-ups in Long Beach, check out the event’s Instagram page!
To purchase tickets and for more information, visit http://greensaturdayla.com.