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Vegging out

Vegfest event expands to Wilmington this month



"Wilmington is ready for their own event,” HELENE GREENBERG recalls saying after fellow organizer CASEY NELSON approached her to bring VEGFEST to the Port City.

VegFest started in the Triangle area in 2014.

This year, the group has teamed up with Wilmington Vegan and North Carolina Farmed Animal Save for an event where people can get an education about diet facts, awareness, and food connections.

“We also anticipate over 1,000 people attending the event and over forty vendors,” Greenberg says about the upcoming Wilmington VegFest on April 14 at the Coastline Conference and Event Center.

It is the first time the vegan festival has expanded to Wilmington. The annual Triangle event takes place in August in Durham. Greensboro also hosts a Triad VegFest in November.

Vendors at the local nonprofit event include Brooklyn Cafe, Clean Juice, Whole Foods, River Organics, and more. Lotus and Lentils will provide cooking demonstrations throughout the event.

Educators and vendors will show the community the benefits of a plantbased diet, healthy eating, and locally sourced food in a fun, nonjudgmental environment.

Wilmington VegFest also looks to support local businesses that cater to the area’s vegan community.

“An event like this dispels so many myths about the vegan lifestyle when non-vegans attend, taste delicious, animal- friendly foods, and have fun at the comedy show and dance party,”

says AUTUMN BUTLER, a representative of Wilmington Vegan and local VegFest organizer.

The organizers’ aim is to stress to the community that the vegan lifestyle can be both fun and enjoyable. Their focus also is on saving animals’ lives.

“North Carolina is the second-largest producer of pigs in the country. We’re also the second-largest producer of turkeys,” Nelson says.

One of the driving forces behind the event is the Wilmington Vegan group, which has a membership of over 200 people and hosts monthly potlucks, training, classes, and events.

Local organizations have rallied behind the project including North Carolina Farmed Animal Save, Cape Fear’s Going Green, and grocers Whole Foods and Tidal Creek Co-op.

Vendors will be selling and providing samples for attendees. Families are encouraged to come and partake in food trucks outside in addition to live music. VegFest also has organized a kid-friendly area where children can color and play.

The VegFest event starts at noon and goes until 5 p.m.

The day opens with speakers and workshops leaders. Ellen Jaffe Jones and Sid Garza-Hillman are slated to speak at the event.

A panel discussion, on the effects of factory farming on Eastern North Carolina, features Roxanne Catlandia Kirtright from North Carolina Farmed Animal Save, Justin Van Kleck from Triangle Chicken Advocates, and Jess Hodgdon, a pharmacy technician in Buncombe County.

Triangle Vegetarian Society will be on hand with tables full of literature and its representative, Brian Donlon, who will discuss topics related to veganism and a plant-based diet.

The group has planned a dance party after the festival featuring a live DJ and comedian, Cameron F. Awesome.

The dance party lasts from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and is included in the $10 admission paid for the festival.

The $10 is a donation to Wilmington VegFest. Proceeds raised will be shared with Wilmington Vegan and North Carolina Farmed Animal Save. Triangle VegFest donates thousands of dollars back to the surrounding community each year and has invested time and energy into the success of the event.    

 

W I L M I N G TO N V E G F E S T

April 14 | noon-5 pm followed by a dance party 7-11 pm

COASTLINE CONFERENCE AND EVENT CENTER 501 NUTT STREET

TICKETS: $10 / KIDS UNDER THE AGE OF 18 GET IN FREE WITH A PAYING ADULT

EVENT INFO: WILMINGTONVEGFEST.COM

WILMINGTON VEGAN INFO: WILMINGTONVEGAN.COM 

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