Veggie Fest Chicago, one of the largest vegetarian food festivals in the U.S., is celebrating its 10th anniversary Aug. 15-16 at a new and larger location: Benedictine University in Lisle. As in past years, the festival will include an international food court, health professionals speaking on diet, lifestyle, and environmental issues, food demos, live music, over 100 vendor booths, and free admission and free parking.
In conjunction with all the veggie activities, the Science of Spirituality is sponsoring a Spirituality & Health Symposium. The symposium’s keynote speaker will be Spiritual Master Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj. Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj will speak on Spiritual Wellness on Saturday, Aug. 15, at 2:30 p.m., and on Meditation: Food for the Soul on Sunday, Aug. 16 at 2:30 p.m. Both presentations will be in the main tent.
Latent within each person is a spiritual energy that has the power to make us whole. The technique by which we can tap into this latent power is meditation.
— Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj
Other speakers of note include Dr. Terry Mason, M.D., chief operating officer of the Cook County Department of Public Health, who will be speaking on “Strokes Have Nothing to Do with the Brain” Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in Tent B. Timothy W. Fior, M.D., family physician and homeopath, will speak on “Eat More-Weigh Less – Latest Medical Findings” Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in Tent B. Dr. Rimjhim Duggal Stephens, M.D., will speak on “Vegetarian Diet for Children: A Medical Perspective” on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in the Main Tent. The full speaker list can be found here.
Veggie Fest features a wealth of vegetarian, vegan, and raw food demos from restaurant and commercial chefs, guest chefs, and cookbook authors and coaches. Demos start on Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 a.m., and run though 5:30 p.m. each day. The full food demo schedule is available here, and demo descriptions here.
Can’t make the fest or don’t want to take notes? Look for 2015’s Veggie Fest recipes on the web site after the weekend. If you can’t wait, you can download the 2014 recipes here.
The vegetarian food court offers an incredible assortment of vegetarian cuisines and dishes. There will also be vegan and gluten-free options, and many vendors will make vegan versions of food upon request (so speak up!). Offerings will include corn dog and fries, masala dosa with sambar, veggie kabobs, tofu pockets, falafel sandwich and platter, Thai crunch salad, and ginger ice cream.
Live music has always been a part of Veggie Fest, and it’s no different in the new venue. Music starts at 11:00 a.m. each day, and finishes with a 6:00-8:00 set in the evening. Artists include The Giving Tree Band, Gizzae, Caribe Son Internacional, and Zach. The music schedule is available here.
And don’t forget the kids. A section of the grounds is dedicated to activities and entertainment for children, designed and managed by professional educators. Activities include face painting, arts & crafts, games to learn about the vegetarian life, photos, and continuous musical performance by professional entertainers.
There’s also the Vegi-Kid’s Parade at 5:30 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Children to age 16 can come dressed as their favorite veggie or animal, and parade around the festival grounds. There’s fun prizes for everyone who participates in the parade.
Benedictine University is located at 5700 College Rd., Lisle, IL 60532. [Google Map] The best travel is on I-88. If coming east of I-88, exit Route 53; if traveling west on I-88, exit Freedom Drive. Enter Veggie Fest from College Rd. You can download the parking map here.
Coach Ken is the Chicago Wellness Examiner, the Milwaukee Triathlon Examiner, and National Endurance Sports Examiner. Links to other Fitness and Wellness articles can be found on his Author page on Facebook.