Why you should check out Charlotte VegFest

By Julia Simon / Caroline Matula

April 27, 2017

The 6th Annual Charlotte VegFest, the region’s largest vegan festival, comes to the expansive Park Expo this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join the movement of Charlotteans making compassionate choices and putting their health and the environment first at this free event.

Here are some highlights and everything you need to know about this Saturday’s festivities:

The Food: Come hungry! Local vegan eateries will be sampling and selling the best bites and sips they have to offer. The Masa Casa will have hot tamales, Nourish will have polenta pizza and fully loaded sweet potato fries, and Fern, Move That Dough Baking Co, Living Kitchen, Zizi’s, Viva Raw, Lenny Boy, and many others will all be in the house, dishing out vegan treats and beverages.

Polenta Pizza by Nourish. Photo credit: Maya Sozer

Interesting Speakers: Head upstairs to hear talks by Will Tucker, professional vegan bodybuilder, and The Good Food Institute’s Emily Byrd. A health panel of local vegan-friendly physicians and professors are on deck as well to answer questions about the vegan diet, raising children vegan, or making the transition to plant-based eating.

Shopping and Swag: Over 100 vendors means deals on ethically made clothes, accessories, housewares, and shelf-stable goods like coffee, granola, and dog treats. Commercial vendors such as locally owned and run The Greener Apple and soap titan Dr. Bronner will have tables packed with wares to sample and buy. Oh, and the first 200 people through the door get a free VegFest tote bag packed with coupons and freebies.

Photo by Maya Sozer

Speed Dating for Vegans: If you’re looking to make a connection, check out Veg Speed Dating, here in Charlotte for the first time ever!

Free Demos and Performances: Live chef demos from local vegan chefs, yoga classes, aerial silks acrobatic displays and more are all scheduled on the half hour throughout the day.

Fun for the Kids: A tiger-shaped bouncy house, face painting, and a festival-wide scavenger hunt will make the day fun for the little ones. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue will be there, too, with an array of rescued birds and animals to meet and admire.

Photo by Maya Sozer

There’s an after-party too: The fun doesn’t stop at 4 p.m. The first official VegFest Afterparty (also free) takes place at Midwood Country Club on Central Avenue from 8 p.m. until midnight. Fundraising drink specials, the fabulous DJ Fannie Mae, a set by The Vegan Rapper, and food from Sunburger and EBN’s Vegan Cuisine will finish a day of compassion and camaraderie in style.

Charlotte VegFest 2017 happens Saturday, April 29 at the Park Expo, 800 Briar Creek Road, 28205 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Parking is $5 but the event is free.

More about Charlotte VegFest and details on the after party.

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