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Chicago VeganMania Returns for the Fifth Year

Chicago VeganMania
Chicago VeganMania
John Beske

Too exciting!

After four amazingly successful years of bringing the free festival to many herbivores and omnivores alike, Chicago VeganMania (CVM) returns as a day-long celebration of vegan culture, commerce, community, cuisine and couture. The fifth annual CVM event takes place Saturday, September 21, between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway in Chicago. The previous four events have drawn thousands of attendees. As always, CVM is free to the public.

Nationally known speakers will be featured at Chicago VeganMania again this year, including Jenny Brown, former Chicagoan, co-founder of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary and author of the acclaimed memoir The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals. In addition to Jenny, Julieanna Hever, a.k.a, the Plant-Based Dietitian, star of the Veria Network’s “What Would Julieanna Do?” and author of the best-selling The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, will be dispelling common nutrition myths. Ellen Jaffe Jones, author of Eat Vegan on $4 a Day will be doing a presentation based on her new book, A Kitchen Divided: Vegan Dishes for Semi-Vegan Households, which helps people navigate relationships despite differences in the kitchen. Mikael Nielsen, Eastern Outreach Coordinator for Mercy for Animals and sustainability expert and acclaimed author Dr. Richard Oppenlander will also be main speakers.

Workshops and panels include Robert Grillo of Free From Harm, Erin Grayson of the popular Erin Red Radio podcast, Kristin Lajeunesse of WTF Vegan Food, Ashlee Piper of The Little Foxes, and many others, including yours truly. This will be a full day of Q&A panels addressing everything from compassionate beauty and style to the latest in nutrition

Cooking demos are back again this year, and CVM is very excited to be featuring people who are creating some of Chicago’s most innovative purely plant-based cuisine, featuring Chef Kendall Huff of the popular Native Foods, raw foodist Jenny Cornbleet, Kat Barry of The Chicago Diner and more. Everything demonstrated and sampled will be free of animal ingredients, of course.

“We’ve been doing this for five years and we still love how rewarding it is to celebrate veganism and Chicago together in one event,” says John Beske, co-founder. “It is a really positive and fun celebration of vegan culture and community but it’s also very appealing to those who are just curious about the the lifestyle. Anyone who enjoys a free, lively festival with diverse vendors, great speakers and entertainment as well as, of course, delicious, cruelty-free food will enjoy Chicago VeganMania.”

Included in the day’s festivities will be the popular Culture Café with coffee, an alternative milk bar and live music all day (schedule is here), a “Vegan Rock Star” photo booth and amazing cruelty-free swag bags for the first one hundred people through the door. Also, different local experts will be featured at the Ask the Experts table, which changes by the hour and is wonderful for one-on-one support. Please visit the website for the full schedule. Volunteers will also get access to great vegan swag, including Vegan Rock Star shirts and swag. Contact Brandon to get yourself a slot!

In addition to all this, there will be a huge food court featuring delicious options from more than a dozen of Chicago's favorite restaurants, caterers and food companies, as well as an exhibit hall packed dozens of diverse vendors, featuring everything from jewelry to body care products, candles to high fashion. All vegan, of course! A highlight, of course, is the all-vegan food court (the largest temporary vegan food court in the world), which is managed by the CVM Green Team to create almost no waste. Last year, with about 4,000 people in attendance, only FOUR garbage bags of waste were generated. This is very impressive when you consider the staggering landfill created at the typical Chicago event.

Please join us: whether you are vegan or otherwise, everyone is welcome at Chicago VeganMania.

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