The Best Summer Event in Chicagoland is Veggie Fest

Ahhh, the sweet smell of summer—the trees in full bloom, the fresh scent of mowed grass wafting through the air! People are joyous, reveling in the warmth of the sun after a long winter and finally able to participate in the endless array of outdoor activities that summer affords.

One of my favorite activities is to take the family to outdoor festivals now in the heart of most of our American towns and cities. There seems to be something going on every weekend. What a great way to hang outside with friends, families, and neighbors, enjoying local artisans, listening to talented musicians, and enjoying great food from local restaurants and chefs.

Summer in Chicago also means that it’s the time of year when my favorite annual event comes around: Veggie Fest!

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I’ve been attending Veggie Fest since it started more than a dozen years ago. I’ve seen it grow into one of the nation’s largest festivals focusing on all aspects of healthy living: vegetarian and vegan food, amazing speakers from world-renowned health professionals, nutritionists, meditation and yoga practitioners, food demos that help me recreate at home many of the recipes from the fest, over 100 vendor booths, a children’s tent with games, crafts, face-painting, and a music stage featuring the hottest bands in Chicagoland.

And it’s not just me! Veggie Fest now welcomes close to 50,000 people to the two-day event! While that may seem almost too large, one of the beauties of Veggie Fest is its location, spread out over many acres with trees to easily accommodate the crowds.

One of my favorite features of Veggie Fest is all the literature available around how to embark on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Whether for nutritional or ethical reasons you choose to “go veg,” it’s not as difficult a challenge as it may seem.

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If you don’t know where to begin, Veggie Fest is full of information ranging from individual recipes to weekly food plans designed to make the transition easier. There are dedicated tents with experts available to talk you through the process. They can share with you how to incorporate more plant-based whole foods into your diet or how to make a complete transition. There’s even a massive international food court with dozens of delectable options. If you show up with any doubts or concerns about the taste of plant-based foods, the international food court will erase them, bite by delicious bite!

This year Veggie Fest is being held on August 10th & 11th in Lisle, IL (about 30 minutes west of downtown Chicago) at the Danada South Park (2701 Navistar Circle). So grab the family and enjoy a day or two of music and sun, food and fun!

Veggie Fest is also FREE. Including parking! The only thing you pay for is the food, so there’s really no excuse to stay home.

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