Madison Vegan Fest makes its return in October

Food vendors, guest speakers, kids’ activities and, for the first time, live music mark the return of Vegan Fest, back after a two year hiatus
A colorful rainbow with a sun in the center and a city skyline below.
Madison Vegan Fest’s logo.
Photo courtesy of Madison Vegan Fest.

Madison Vegan Fest is making its return after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic. The community festival, held Oct. 1 at William G. Lunney Lake Farm County Park, celebrates vegan lifestyle with food vendors, exhibits, speakers and live music. The family-friendly event is free to all.

“We are very excited to be bringing the fest back, but there’s certainly a new pile of challenges in bringing the event to a new outdoor location and having a smaller organizing team after two years off,” says Sara Andrews, the festival’s co-lead organizer.

The festival will feature food from more than 50 vegan vendors, including vegan bakeries Heirloom Bakery & Kitchen and Level 5 Donuts, and savory options from Twisted Plants, with many gluten free options also available. Other vendors include local businesses such as TacoCat Creations and Hex + Wax Candle Co.

According to a news release, the fest “spotlights businesses offering sustainable and environmentally friendly services and products, and highlights the outstanding work of farm sanctuaries, wildlife protection groups, and animal advocacy organizations.” The event is also run by an all-volunteer team.

Vegan Fest will take place on Oct. 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and follow a schedule of guest speakers and workshops. Conversation subjects include “Alternative Proteins: The Future of Food,” “Animal Tales: Stories from Sanctuary Caretakers” and “Helping Wisconsin’s Wildlife: Rehabilitation and Policy” — a topic Andrews is particularly excited about.

“It’s not a topic that is covered very often at vegan events, and I think it should be,” says Andrews.

The event will also feature live music throughout the day from local folk, bluegrass and jazz artists, marking the first time the fest has included music. There will be a Family and Kid’s Zone with face painting and other activities for families.

“The event is more family-friendly than ever before,” says Andrews.

You can find out more about the festival, volunteer opportunities and vendor information here.

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