Grand Rapids VegFest returns on September 22 for its fifth annual celebration of all things vegan. The festival is presented and organized by the local nonprofit organization Plant Based Roots, whose mission is to promote a plant-based diet for health, sustainability, social justice and the animals.
The concept of a plant-based festival was hardly a new idea when organizers decided to put one on in Grand Rapids, more than five years ago. Co-founders Erica Wisniewski and Kim Enochs had already been vegan activists in Grand Rapids for quite some time, but wanted to bring awareness to a wider audience. The first year, we did not know what to expect, but it was a huge success and has continued to grow each year. The event itself is organized by a group of very dedicated and passionate volunteers.
The one-day festival will feature food trucks offering mouth-watering plant-based foods. We are excited about Daddy Pete’s BBQ, which is new to the festival this year, while the crowd favorite Shimmy Shack returns yet again. The cooking demonstrations are amazing and feature some of the best plant-based chefs that Michigan has to offer. We will demonstrate a broad spectrum of different recipe options that festival-goers can learn how to make for themselves at home.
We are so excited for our speaker lineup this year. The Sustainable Duo will be joining us from Florida to talk to audiences about how they can lead a more sustainable lifestyle. You can visit our website at grvegfest.com for the full line-up of speakers. The day also includes live music, chalk art from a local chalk artist, a dynamic kid’s area, and local and national vendors. On top of all that, there will be several local and national nonprofit organizations that will inspire festival-goers to get involved and take action.
Make sure you come hungry, because our food vendors will be offering some delicious vegan eats.. You can grab some cookies from Bit Baking Company, a vegan hotdog from Jonny B’z, Ethiopian food from GOJO, and finish it off with a Mitten Pop from Love’s Ice Cream. Many vendors will have samples of their products, like Radical Plants with their whole line of plant-based dips that are out of this world. All the food options are sure to be a delight.
The organizers believe that plant-based eating can be for anyone and we put on this event to show West Michigan that changing to a more plant-based diet can lead to overall better health for individuals and our community, as well as more compassion toward animals and positive changes to our environment that everyone can benefit from. We are so excited that we have been able to bring this festival to Grand Rapids for the past five years and we look forward to seeing you on September 22.
Follow Grand Rapids VegFest on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram or visit our website at grvegfest.com for more information and upcoming events.
Grand Rapids VegFest
DeltaPlex, 2500 Turner Ave., Grand Rapids
Sept. 22, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., $12, Kids 12 and under free