With international guest speaker Robert Cheeke headlining and an impressive line up of performers and stallholders, this year is looking to be the biggest and best yet for South Australia's very own Vegan Festival. As a professional bodybuilder, motivational speaker, and author of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness: The Complete Guide to Building Your Body on a Plant-Based Diet, Cheeke is visiting from America to share his health, fitness, and lifestyle tips with the people of Adelaide.
It's been a couple of years between green smoothies, but the family, pet, and earth friendly event is back on Sunday, November 16, 2014 from 10 am until 5 pm at Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga. This will be the fifth instalment of the Vegan Festival, which promotes a compassionate, healthy, and sustainable way of life and promises to be a lot of fun for everyone with market stalls, activities, and entertainment.
Some such attractions include a free morning yoga class and live performances from local musicians, such as The Wandering Minstrels, Local Revolution, and Will Kallinderis. Free activities will keep children amused for the day, including face painting, Phillipe the Juggler, and the Amazing Drumming Monkeys. Bowls of water will be in place for the animal attendees, as well as pet reiki and photography sessions.
More than 60 stalls from local and interstate vendors will be there with apparel, cosmetics, pet care, and much more. See what Adelaide's only all vegan grocery store, Everything Vegan, has to offer or find information about animal protection groups, like Sea Shepherd and Oscar's Law, and ways you can help.
Of course, there will be lots of mouth-watering vegan fare available to ensure no one goes hungry at this festival. As an event sponsor and somewhat of a vegan institution in Adelaide, Bliss Organic Garden Café has meals to feed the masses, while Veggie Velo peddles burgers, and Earth's Kitchen cooks up organic pizzas.
Save some room for sweets because Just RAWsome have raw gluten-free cakes on offer. Bona Food and Live a Little Artisan Gelato are usually at the Market Shed on Holland on Sunday mornings, but will make an appearance at the Vegan Festival with waffles, crepes, and other vegan delights.
All this for just a gold coin admission fee – bargain. And that's just a taste of what to expect with new stallholders being announced all the time on the Facebook page. As a not-for-profit event, the festival not only relies on sponsorship and volunteers, but crowdfunding too, in which donations are rewarded with items like books, vouchers, and meals. Further details, including a schedule of events and list of stallholders, can be found at the Vegan Festival website.
The revival of the Vegan Festival marks a momentous year for Adelaide's vegan community. Some highlights so far include the new vegan menu at Papa Mia's Wood Oven Pizza at Colonel Light Gardens, which features no less than seven pizzas, garlic bread, and dessert calzones.
Adelaide's first vegan bakery, Cherry Darlings Cruelty-Free Bakehouse in Forestville, opened its doors to the public in June and since then the innovative pastry creations (chicken pineapple parmi pies and oreo stuffed doughnuts, for example) have been walking straight out. More recently, E'nuf Burger Bar in Brighton and Glenelg North began offering a veganised version of its Fillie Millie veggie burger.
There has never been a better (or more delicious) time for vegans in Adelaide and it just so happens that the Vegan Festival coincides with the fifth anniversary of the Vegan Easy Challenge, whereby participates abstain from animal products for the month of November. There's plenty of support provided by way of recipes and meal plans, so if you have ever considered or been curious about veganism, now is the time to sign up and give it a go.