Vegfest is an annual vegetarian food festival held in numerous locations around the world including Seattle, Portland, Detroit, Denver, Austin, Salt Lake City, Boston, New York, Washington, DC, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Albany, Northampton, Worcester, Tampere and similar events in San Francisco, Toronto, Ottawa and St. Catharines. The festivals promote veganism and vegetarianism, healthy lifestyles, environmentalism, community spirit and animal rights.
Vegetarian Food Festival in Toronto
The Vegetarian Food Festival in Toronto is regarded as the largest vegetarian festival in the world with 40,000 attendees each year and over 100 exhibiting food and product vendors. It is a free public festival held at Harbourfront Centre by the Toronto Vegetarian Association on the lakeshore in Toronto the second weekend of every September. Attendees have the opportunity to attend free lectures from world-renowned vegetarian cookbook authors, animal rights activists, and more.
Among others, John Salley spoke at Michigan's Vegfest from the years 2009-2012, accompanied by his family in 2011. Tal Ronnen performed a cooking demonstration in 2011.
Salley is a recurring speaker at Michigan's Vegfest and made his first appearance in March 2009. VegFest is a Great American Meatout event, encouraging people to go meatless for the day, week, or more. Prior to 2009, VegMichigan's event was called Great American Meatout but was changed to reflect the welcoming, celebratory atmosphere of the event. The event is organized by VegMichigan and has record statistics of over 4,200 people attending VegFest. The event is filmed by various TV stations and has numerous sponsors.
Niagara VegFest (St. Catharines)
Niagara VegFest began in 2012 and is an annual event that takes place in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario. It celebrates the many benefits of a healthy, compassionate plant-based lifestyle, and showcases exhibitors, vendors, and speakers from the Niagara region and beyond. Over 1200 people attended the first Niagara VegFest on June 2, 2012. The second annual Niagara VegFest took place on June 2nd, 2013 and featured the following speakers: Susie Coston, Linda Crago, JL Fields, Dr. Michael Greger, Ginny Messina, and Victoria Moran. Over 4,400 people attended in 2013 and came from throughout the area and beyond including Toronto, Kingston, Guelph, Hamilton and also New York State.
Ottawa Veg Fest
The first Ottawa Veg Fest was held in 2009, and was organized by the National Capital Vegetarian Association. The fourth annual Ottawa Veg Fest is scheduled for April 29, 2012.
The one-day event features guest speakers, exhibitors, food demonstrations, a silent auction, and in 2011, the NCVA vegan cupcake challenge (which was judged by local media personalities). Ottawa Veg Fest is organized entirely by volunteers.
In the past, the event has featured a number of high-profile guest speakers, including Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary, Dr. Kerrie Saunders, Dr. Michael Greger, Brenda Davis, R.D., and chef Doug McNish.
Ottawa Veg Fest 2011 attracted nearly 3,000 visitors, and May 1 was proclaimed "Veg Fest Day in Ottawa" by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.
Ottawa Veg Fest in 2013 was biggest yet, attracting some 5000 attendees and over 80 exhibitors. It was combined with the first ever Ottawa Yoga Fest and held at St. Paul University.
For 2015, Ottawa Veg Fest (http://vegfest.ca) will be bigger and better than ever. Relocating to a great new venue (the RA Centre on Riverside Drive) the 2015 Ottawa Veg Fest will include up to 100 vendors, a speaker series and much more.
Texas VegFest - Austin, Texas
First annual Texas VegFest took place Saturday March 31st, 2012 in Austin, Texas at Fiesta Gardens. Guest included Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Terry Hope Romero, Robert Cheeke, Dr. Michael Greger, and Erica Meier from Compassion Over Killing. No festival would be complete in Austin with out live music. Music provided by Roxy Roca, Noise Revival Orchestra, Lincoln Durahm, and The Wheel Workers. The event hosted many local and national sponsors and vendors, youth activities, and meditation sessions along with the speakers and live music. Attendance to the first annual event was 3500. The second annual Texas VegFest is scheduled for Saturday April 6th, 2013 at Fiesta Gardens in Austin, Texas.
VegFest Houston: Houston, Texas
VegFest Houston is created, produced and hosted annually by the Vegan Society of P.E.A.C.E.. This family-friendly vegan community festival is dedicated to "Promoting an ethical, compassionate and sustainable world for all!". The Premier Vegan Festival of Texas had its inaugural debut here in the nation's 4th largest city in June 2011! VegFest Houston is a 100% volunteer-run festival and one of the most diverse vegan festivals in the country. This annual vegan festival is free and open to the public. Yearly features of VegFest Houston include: Houston's superb vegan restaurants, exciting guest speakers, live music from local veg musicians, 'Kids Zone' and crafts, vegan food demos, vegan vendors and services, free product samples, yoga and fitness demos, educational films, like-minded community booths and green businesses, plus prize giveaways. In 2013, the festival moves to a larger venue to accommodate the exponential growth seen over the first few years.
VegFest Colorado: Denver, Colorado
VegFest Colorado was rated a Top 10 VegFest by One Green Planet and a top VegFest destination by Definition Fitness Magazine Definition Fitness Magazine. Attendees are treated to two full days of speakers, cooking demos, vendor booths, food trucks, music, entertainment, films and kids activities. The festival is 100% volunteer run, open to the public and a must attend for vegans, vegetarians and those wanting to learn more about plant-based diets and compassionate living. More information can be found at VegFestColorado.org.
- John Salley
- Tal Ronnen
- Rory Freedman
- Harry Pianko
- Howard Lyman
- Jim Corcoran
- Dr. Joel Kahn
- Victoria Moran (http://www.mainstreetvegan.net)
- Nathen Runkle
- Jim McNellis
- Celeste Ivey
- Dr. Kerrie Saunders
- Olivia Neilson
- Gene Baur
- Dr. Michael Greger
- Brenda Davis, R.D
- Doug McNish
- George Vutetakis
- Jasmin Singer
- Carol Leifer