Vendy Awards Review: Some Final Thoughts

We never had a real Vendy Awards Review, but Saturday”s Vendy Awards were the 8th Annual and our fourth one, so we have some perspective.

In the past two years, things seemed electrified and almost tense. The lines were very long, and the competition aspect felt like it overwhelmed the event.

I’m not sure why, but this year’s Vendy Awards felt much more laid back. The lines were shorter than in the past two years, and the atmosphere more chilled out.

I don’t remember anyone setting up picnic blankets in the middle of the field in the past. This year the Vendys had the vibe of a big picnic.

Why were the lines shorter, and the feeling more chill?

Cinnamon Snail sweets (credit: NYSF)

Was it the inclusion of market vendors, bringing the total number of vendors up to 22 (23 if you count Kelvin Slush, who were not competing)?

Was it that the Vendys did not sell out this year? They’re not talking, but we understand tickets were still available for walk-ups that day. Maybe they sold out at the door, but we don’t know.

We did hear from some people who said $95 was a lot for a ticket. If I remember correctly, tickets were $70 for our first Vendys back in 2009. Perhaps some people who attended in the past couldn’t afford it this year? We are certainly on a tighter budget than in the past, and almost everyone we know is in the same boat. Choices have to be made.

Xin Jiang kebabs (credit: NYSF)

Some of the complaints we received were from the vendors, most of who we know pretty well at this point. They were grateful for the recognition and additional exposure the Vendys provide, but couldn’t necessarily afford to feed close to 2,000 people for free. In case you were not aware, every vendor at the Vendy Awards donates their time and food to help support the non-profit Street Vendor Project, a worthy cause.

As the event has grown over the years, this is a larger amount for each vendor to carry, especially the rookies. We know of some vendors who declined to participate this year and in the past because they couldn’t afford to feed that many people for free. Maybe it’s time for the Street Vendor Project to subsidize a portion of each vendor’s cost, or at least the rookies who have beenin business less than a year.

Pestle & Mortar (credit: NYSF)

On the format, we thought James Cunningham was an excellent host for the awards portion of the ceremony, even if he did make a few mistakes.

We also appreciate the Vendys not calling out all the raffle prize winners before the award ceremony. Having been there since 11:30am, not having to sit through a bunch of raffle ticket numbers before the awards presentation was a pleasant surprise.

In conclusion, we had a wonderful time at the 2012 Vendy Awards, and will be back next year for the 9th Annual.

What we’re really looking forward to is the 10th Anniversary Vendy Awards in 2014. We think it should be an All-Star Vendy Awards, with the past winners coming back to compete against each other. Doesn’t that sound like a fantastic event!

We just hope they have dragons again.

(credit: NYSF)