Get ready to Veg out, Penticton; the first VegFest in the South Okanagan is set for Aug. 23.
The environmentally-minded festival offers a showcase for a variety of plant-based and vegan vendors offering a range of products from plant-based foods to fashion and skincare products. It’s an opportunity to give an alternative lifestyle a platform for the public to look and learn about.
“I think its time for Penticton to have more environmentally minded events,” said event organizer Barbara Nixon. “It’s a great time, a lot of people I know are exploring plant-based options, we see it growing in the market, and we want to give people some clarity about it. To give people information from the science side of it, and from personal experience. It’s a way for people to explore it in a safe environment, have fun, and come to their own conclusions.”
Since registration for the event opened this week, 25 vendors have registered for spots out of the goal of 50 for the first run of the festival. The registration for vendors is open until April. 1, and there’s more than just vendors at the festival.
“We’ve got six speakers confirmed, and we’ll be announcing who they are soon,” said Nixon. “They are all local Canadians, not speakers from the U.S., which is important for sharing their experience.”
The one-day festival brings the vendors and presenters to Penticton in a family-friendly and welcoming environment that Nixon hopes will bring people in, even if they aren’t as interested in changing their lifestyles.
“We’ve got entertainment, we’ve got a kid zone arranged, and we’ve got the Sparkle Dance Academy which will be performing too,” said Nixon.
The vegan and plant-focused event offers a stark alternative to the Penticton Ribfest, which also takes place later in the summer. That competition is not one the organizers are worried about.
“I was outside of Ribfest last year, and what I saw was the popularity had decreased, and a lot of people are there for the entertainment and the beer garden,” said Nixon. “Are they really interested in the ribs, or the activities? That’s one of the things that inspired me for this, that if there’s that kind of atmosphere it would be more welcoming for people.”
The festival is scheduled to take place at the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre the week ahead of the Ironman Triathlon.
“I think Penticton is the perfect place, because it’s not just the locals we’re catering to, but the tourists, and there are a lot of visitors from Vancouver where plant-based,” said Nixon. “From the numbers of followers since we opened our social media pages, there are a lot of interested people who were waiting for an event like this.
For vendors interested in a spot at the festival, registration and information is available at the Penticton VegFest website at www.pentictonvegfest.com.
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