Your 2014 Guide to Vegan Festivals and Events in the Midwest

By Leslie Brefeld, 2014 Winter Intern

Looking to get out and expand your vegan circle? One great way to meet like-minded folks who share your compassionate eating values is to attend a VegFest. With more and more vegan festivals popping up each year, even areas that aren’t known for being particularly “veg-friendly,” such as the Midwest, can now boast of several great events. Most festivals are free and offer a day (or two) of festival-atmosphere fun with music, educational speakers and activities for kids. Below are just some of the events that are taking place this year. If there are other vegan festivals in the Midwest that you enjoy, please keep the conversation going by posting the details in the comments section. Thanks!

VegFest, Vegan Tastefest and Expo

Date: April 13
Location: Novi, Michigan
Time: 10:30 am to 5 pm
Cost: $10 admission

The festival features speakers including Daryl Hannah on Turning Inspiration into Action, cooking demos, a food court, children’s activities and an expo with vegan, environmental and healthy products and services.

Chicago Veggie Pride Parade

Date: May 31
Location: Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois
Time: Parade is at noon, registration is at 11 am
Cost: Free admission

Join the parade to support local vegans and vegetarians, raise awareness about a plant-based diet, and socialize with like-minded people.

Mad City Vegan Fest

Date: June 7
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Cost: Free admission

Madison is an awesome city, so any excuse to spend a nice summer day up there is a no-brainer. Check out http://madisonvegan.com/ if you want to hit up a vegan restaurant while in town. The festival features speakers including author Nick Cooney, cooking demos, exhibitors and free food.

Veggie Fest 2014

Date: August 9-10
Location: Naperville, Illinois
Time: 11 am to 8 pm
Cost: Free admission

Veggie Fest is the big one in Chicago. It’s named in VegNews magazine’s 2011 list of Must-Visit Summer Vegetarian Festivals. And according to their facebook page, Veggie Fest is one of the largest vegetarian festivals in the country. The festival features over two days of live bands, a Spirituality and Health Symposium, international food court, art show, food demos and family events.

Chicago Vegan Mania

Date: October 11
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Cost: Free admission

The festival features speakers, workshops, chef demos, live music with the Culture Cafe Entertainment, kids activities, a food court and exhibitors.

Also, if you’re into travelling, or not a Midwesterner, the Vegan Voice offers a great year-long calendar of worldwide vegan events.

Hope to see you out there! Leave us a comment if you attend to tell us about your experience.

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