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Natural Awakenings Chicago

Experience Everything Veg at Veggie Fest

Jul 25, 2014 05:14PM

When the ninth annual Veggie Fest Chicago is held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., August 9 and 10, on the grounds of the Science of Spirituality Meditation Center, in Naperville, visitors will enjoy food demonstrations include vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and raw food demonstrations by restaurant and commercial chefs, cookbook authors, coaches and special guest chefs. As one of the largest vegetarian food and lifestyle festivals in North America, it is expected to draw more than 30,000 people.

Dr. Terry Mason, chief operating officer of the Cook County Health and Hospitals System and one of 20 international doctors and health experts speaking at the second annual Health & Spirituality Symposium at Veggie Fest, will give a talk, Heart Attacks Have Little to Do with the Heart. Mason oversees daily operations of the third-largest public health system in the country, is the chief urologist at Mercy Hospital and serves as an assistant professor of urology at the University of Illinois. A committed vegetarian, Mason was featured in the popular film Forks Over Knives in 2010 and believes in the wisdom of the vegetarian way of life.

Designed and managed by professional educators, Veggie Fest’s children’s tent includes face painting, arts and crafts, games, musical performances and healthy snacks. Musical highlights include Vanessa Holmes: A Tribute to the Motown Greats, The Giving Tree Band, Gizzae, Caribe Son Internacional and Zach. 

The newly crowned Miss Illinois 2014, Marisa Buchheit, will return to the Veggie Fest stage on Sunday, August 10. A meet and greet in the children’s tent will follow her musical performance. A two-time recipient of the Miss Chicago crown, Buchheit heads to the Miss America pageant in September. She is a professional singer and longtime vegetarian who has attributes her fitness and overall health to her plant-based diet. 

Visitors can sign up to receive free support, recipes and tips for going vegetarian for 14 days. Individuals can also give back to the community by donating blood or bringing non-perishable vegetarian items for a food drive benefiting the People’s Resource Center, in Wheaton.


Admission and parking is free. Bike racks provided. Location: 4S175 Naperville Rd. For more information, visit VeggieFestChicago.com.