LISLE – Home-cooked dishes from around the globe will be a highlight of Veggie Fest Chicago, returning after a one-year hiatus to a new and larger venue in Lisle on Aug. 10 and 11.
"What's amazing about Veggie Fest is we have a thousand volunteers from 20 different countries from around the world to put the fest on – with free entry and free parking," said Jason Kruger, one of the coordinators. "We prepare and cook the food for all the visitors."
That process begins the week before the event, one of the largest vegetarian food and wellness festivals in North America. The last one drew more than 40,000 visitors, and the fest's new home now has unlimited parking on-site with shuttle service, he said.
"We have live music from some of the best bands in Chicago, [noted] speakers coming in from all over the world, food demos by expert chefs and almost 100 vendor booths," Kruger said.
He calls the festival an enjoyable place to learn about how to be vegetarian or vegan.
"The last few years, 30,000 [people] signed up for the 30-day vegetarian challenge; we provide recipes, support and ideas," Kruger said.
There will be tents in which to learn to meditate or do yoga, and children will find numerous free activities tailored for them.
"The beauty of Veggie Fest is that it's not really for vegetarians – it's for everybody else," said Kruger, calling it a fun way to learn about healthful eating and wellness.
The International Food Court will offer dozens of dishes for purchase, representing Europe and South America to Mexico, France and Canada. Included are numerous gluten-free items.