Throughout North America, cities from Nashville to Ottawa host an annual VegFest to celebrate all things vegan, vegetarian, and the relationship between food and the environment.

St. John’s jumped onboard last summer, and St. John’s Veg Fest 1 was attended by a whopping 2,500 foodies. Food vendors were shelled out by day’s end.

Veg Fest 2 will take place this weekend, fittingly, as Canada re-writes its food guide to promote the health and environmental benefits of Canadians adopting a more plant-based diet.

Festival organizers say, “Vegans, vegetarians, foodies, environmentalists, and veg-curious attendees will have the opportunity to celebrate delicious food, and discover the countless benefits of a wholesome plant-based lifestyle.”

This year’s festival will feature “dozens of vendors showcasing 100% vegan products, delicious food, adorable animals, amazing charities, an impressive lineup of speakers, as well as music, performers, and activities for kids.”

Those speakers/activities include:

10:00AM – 10:45AM – Family-friendly Yoga with Laurabeth Power
12:00PM – 1:00PM – Music for children by Bill Jameson

11:00AM – Sarah Bennett “Raising a Plant-based Family”
1:00PM – Chadwick Hayward “The Power of Plants: Overcoming Depression & Learning to Run”
2:00PM – Adrianna Smallwood “Optimizing the Plant-based diet and Canada’s Food Guide updates”

Bennett is a local graduate and business owner, with a certificate in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University, and Hayward (BBA, CPA, CA) is a “plant-powered ultrarunner originally from Spaniard’s Bay.” He overcame addiction, lifelong depression, and IBS, and lost 50 pounds, by adopting a whole food plant based diet. He’s the man behind The Mended Paths Podcast.

The last speaker of the day, Adrianna Smallwood, is a registered dietitian with an expansive background in food chemistry and dietetics, and currently works as a Media Representative for Dietitians of Canada and sits on the Executive Board for the local Chapter of the Celiac Association, as well as the National Professional Advisory Council. She is herself a celiac.

Among the many vendors will be Sushi Nami Royale, Pantry Cafe, Epicure, Seaberry Studios, Cheerio Krissy Breen The Vegan Jetsetter, Juice Plus, Meraki Skin Care, Gina Rideout Essential Oils, In Your Face Ice Cream, Tulip Baroo, Peaceful loft, Areas Breakfast, Good On Ya Natural Skincare, Volcano Bakery, Your Vegan Fallacy Is, Nourish Gluten-Free Bakery, East Coast Glow, Fit Foods NL, Healthy Vibe, LB Yoga, Indigena Skin Care, EVOO, Fatima’s India Food, and plenty more.

“We are representing St. John’s in the Veg Fest movement across North America, as individuals and communities become increasingly aware of the environmental benefits of plant-based living. We’ll be located next to the St. John’s Farmer’s Market, and access to Veg Fest is FREE!”

St. John’s Veg Fest will take place Saturday the 19th, from 9-4 at the Remax Centre on Bonaventure Avenue. Admission IS FREE.