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Jun 06.1

Good Grub: Vegan and Vegetarian Food Festivals

Posted In: Vegan >> Community >> LUSH Life

Who’s hungry? The summer season is chock full of Vegan and Vegetarian Food Festivals to discover (or just re-savor) delicious offerings from local businesses in a boisterous street festival setting.

Even if you aren’t a committed vegan or vegetarian, it can be a journey for the taste buds as well as a chance to learn something new about where you live, or are visiting. Oftentimes, there are other events going on like yoga, music performances, and even non-food vendors selling vegan wares. Even better, admission is usually all-ages and free or by donation. For a day out that celebrates a green lifestyle in your community, these can’t be topped.

There's a great resource on The Vegan Voice website with a calendar for the rest of the year for events around the world. Do you have one in your community? Tell us about it!

Here are a few we are working up an appetite for:

• Texas might not come to mind when you first think of vegan food, but the Vegan Society Of P.E.A.C.E. is actively working to change that--and open hearts and tummies to the vegan lifestyle at VegFest Houston. Join them Saturday June 15 for this free, family-friendly event. 

• Ottawa’s 5th Annual Veg Fest & 1st Annual Yoga Festival is June 22-23 this year. The capital city’s very own festival celebrates a healthy lifestyle for all, and has expanded to include yoga, this year--so don’t forget your mat! 

• The wonderful animals and people of Farm Sanctuary host Hoe-Downs that provide everything from vegan food to barn dancing, and the opportunity to hug a rescued farm animal! Farm Sanctuary New York Shelter’s Hoe-Down heats up August 4-5 this year. 

• Chicago’s always had a reputation for great food--and with scores of vegetarian and vegan restaurants throughout the Windy City area, one place to taste it all is VeggieFest Chicago. The free event will serve a bit of it all August 10-11. 

• The largest Vegetarian Food Festival in North American is hosted by the Toronto Vegetarian Association, who will host the 28th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival September 6-8. There is huge schedule of events and vendors, so plan ahead to make the most of your time there, or just wander in and see what you find. Either way, you're in for a treat! 

Fun festivals like these inspire solidarity amongst like-minded people, and can build a kinder and more informed community as a result. More emerge on the scene every year, while offerings at long-standing festivals continue to expand, a heartening sign for vegans and vegetarians everywhere.

If you don’t have a festival coming up in your area, you can still build an appetite with delicious recipes using ingredients from the Farmers’ Market or your own garden. One of our favorite cookbook authors, Mollie Katzen, has delicious recipes on-line in addition to her hand-penned classics. You can also sign up to receive emails from the Vegan Latina, if you need enticement away from your inbox and into the kitchen.

Our best advice for enjoying summer eats, wherever you procure them, is to keep your mind open to new things, and most importantly, arrive hungry.