Vegfest Volunteer FAQ
Where, when, and to whom do I report at the event?
Go to the Vegfest
Location on Mercer Street, enter to the right of the ticket booths, and you will
find the volunteer check-in area on your right. Arrival time on Saturday and
Sunday includes 30-45 minutes before the start of your 4-hour shift. Friday
volunteers will be informally directed to a job by the Volunteer Coordinator.
Saturday and Sunday volunteers will check in at volunteer check-in and attend an
orientation before being directed to a job by the Volunteer Coordinator.
Can I sit down during my shift?
If you are a food demonstrator, ticket salesperson, or volunteer check-in
assistant, the answer is yes. There will be a chair behind your table for you to
sit down when you need to. Other roles like Chef’s Assistant, Supplies,
Greeting, and Stocking are active. You may be on your feet for the entire shift.
Will I get a break during my shift?
Volunteer shifts are planned carefully to ensure that key positions are staffed
at all times, so we encourage you to keep breaks to a minimum. Please use the
bathroom before the start of your shift if possible. You should take time before
or after your shift to look around the event, to eat lunch etc. If you are
working 8 or more hours in a row, ask your Zone Leader (supervisor) for the best
time to take a break. He or she will arrange for someone to cover your role for
a short period while you take your break.
Where do I collect the gift offered for those working more than one shift?
At the end of your last shift, please visit the Volunteer Check-in Desk to
request your free gift.
Since all the food is donated, can I help myself to food at the event?
All the food at Vegfest is donated to the non-profit Vegetarians of Washington
for their use during and after the event. This does not mean that it is freely
available to volunteers to take home. You can sample foods from booths during
breaks and before or after your shift, just like any other attendee. You may
also buy left-over food during the sale held on Sunday at 5:30pm and place it in
the Volunteer Check-in area (labeled with your name) for collection at the end
of your shift. You may not take any whole packets or cases of food home without
paying for them. Unused non-perishable foods are needed for use by Vegetarians
of Washington for future events. Remaining perishable foods are donated to other
non-profits for the homeless for example.
Will there be somewhere to leave my stuff?
We have very limited space in the volunteer area, so please bring as few
belongings as possible. Most volunteers will need to take their coats with them
and store them under or near their table. Volunteers with roles involving
moving around may leave coats in the volunteer area. Volunteers must keep track
of their own purses or other valuables.
Do you have directions/map to the Seattle Center?
The Exhibition Hall is on Mercer Street, next to the McCaw Hall and beneath the
Pacific Northwest Ballet. In the Seattle Center grounds, it is the north side of
the big fountain. Please see our
page for a Seattle Center Map and links to directions and transportation
Where can I park?
The closest parking lot is the multi-story lot between Mercer and Roy St. The
Fifth Ave parking lot on the corner of 5th Ave and Harrison St is a short walk
away. (See the Vegfest Location page).
What public transportation options are available?
The Seattle Center is well served by public transportation. See the
Seattle Center's website for transportation
Will Vegetarians of Washington cover my expenses (like parking)?
Sorry, we are a non-profit organization and can't afford to do that. We
encourage the use of public transport and carpooling to minimize expenses.
Can I volunteer for the same shift as my friend(s)?
Yes, we do all we can to schedule you for the same shift as your friend(s) if
you request to do so. However, we cannot guarantee that you will actually be
working together during your shift, since there are many different needs which
need to be considered in assigning volunteers to specific roles.
I did the orientation last year. Do I need to do it again this year?
Yes. While much of the orientation may be similar to last year, we are
continually improving our procedures, so we’d like everyone to be oriented every
Is there a dress code?
Every volunteer will receive a T-shirt to wear during their shift(s) - it helps
us identify the volunteers from the general public during the event. We don't
have a specific dress code, but anyone who is going to be seen by the public
should look clean and presentable - no torn or dirty clothes. Long hair must be
tied back if preparing or serving food. Those who will be selling tickets or
door monitors will need warm clothing underneath their T-shirts, since it can be
cold in March, and the doors will probably be open for much of the time.
I'm a food demonstrator. Do I need a food handler's license?
No. volunteers do not need a license. Our orientation will cover what you need
to know in order to perform your assigned task. A licensed person will be on
the premises to supervise. Please ensure that you wash your hands thoroughly
and put on gloves before touching any food.
Is there childcare available?
Sorry, but we are unable to provide childcare. No children are permitted behind
booths. If you need to bring children with you, the best role for you is Outdoor
Advertising (see below).
What role can kids do?
No children under 18 may handle money. Children aged 15-18 can do food
demonstrating, table stocking and greeting. Children under 15, who are
supervised by parents, can walk around the Seattle Center grounds with signs &
flyers (outdoor advertising) directing visitors to come inside and taste the
I am volunteering on Friday, in the afternoon, or all day Sunday. Can I attend
Vegfest on a different day or in the morning before my shift?
Yes. Enter through the volunteer check-in area to the right of the ticket
booths. Report directly to the volunteer table, where you will be given a free
ticket. You will still need to check-in before your shift as previously
I'm a vegan. Will I be assigned to a vegan food prep and/or food demo?
The vast majority of the food at Vegfest is vegan. Please inform the volunteer
coordinator or zone leader assigning you to a table if you prefer to serve only
vegan foods, and they will ensure that you do not have to serve products
containing dairy or eggs.
I need to work at least 5 hours to fulfill a volunteer requirement, and my shift
is 4 hours. What should I do?
We always have jobs for you to do! Come an hour before your shift is supposed to
start or stay an hour late. Just keep our volunteer coordinators informed as to
when you are available, and they’ll find an extra hour’s work for you. Check
back in at the Volunteer Check-in table when you are ready to leave if you need
a signature to show how many hours you worked.