Here’s Your Lineup of Summer VegFests

Summer is right around the corner, and nothing says summer like an outdoor festival—particularly when it comes with the added bonus of learning something new about plant-based living.

It’s almost hard to keep up with the mushrooming numbers of vegan festivals taking place in big cities and small towns across the country, as well as around the world. Attending all of them would be a full time job (and who wouldn’t want that job?).

These events run the gamut, but they frequently bring together some of the world’s best speakers on all-matters vegan. They likewise showcase vegan food, teach participants how to make easy and delicious recipes with cooking demos, highlight vegan products such as the new Chao cheese or cruelty-free skin care, and perhaps most beneficially—bring like-minded people together as a community.

The grandma of gatherings, the Animal Rights National Conference, will be held in Arlington, VA, this year from July 30 through August 2. Expect a whole weekend full of speakers, lectures, events, movies and entertainment—and eating,

Also notable is Vida Vegan Con, a conference mostly geared at vegan content creators, bloggers, social media users, video hosts, and event planners. The third annual conference will be held in Austin, TX in May. Unfortunately, this may be the last year this event is held, so make plans now to catch it while it’s here.

Another favorite vegan conference is called Vegetarian Summerfest in Johnstown, PA, run by the North American Vegetarian Association. The 41st anniversary of the conference takes place in July, and there’ll be over 60 speakers in health, nutrition, animal rights, fitness, the environment and cooking. Among others, T. Colin Campbell, Julieanna Hever, Michael Gregor, and Victoria Moran will present.

To name several summer vegfests, New Orleans Vegan Food Festival takes place in May; Houston, Philly, and Cleveland’s VegFests are in June; and Memphis’ Plant-Based Food Festival and Chicago and Buffalo’s VegFests are in August. Things barely slow down in the beginning of autumn, with San Francisco, DC, Orlando, Tampa, Atlanta, Boston, and NC on tap to hold not-to-be-missed events.

Doesn’t a summer vacation of the culinary kind sound spectacular?

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Jessica Juliet Spain

Jessica Juliet Spain

A green-living advocate and former globetrotter, Jessica Spain is all about sharing the joys of a vegan diet through awareness and education by tabling at health fairs, handing out leaflets at colleges or concerts, and collaborating with groups like the Humane League and EarthSave. Based in Miami, after stints in Brooklyn, India, East Africa, and LA, her free time is spent doting on her two plucker parrots and a former street pup, yoga, and composting in her fruit-filled backyard garden. Jessica goes for chia seed or chocolate avocado pudding and educating new vegans—because what’s more rewarding than that?

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