Whether you identify as vegan, are considering changing your diet to vegan, or just looking to incorporate more fruits, veggies, and meat-free items in your daily diet, you won't want to miss VeganMania, a celebration of the vegan diet and lifestyle, hosted at the Broadway Armory on Saturday, October 11.

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"Chicagoans have a reputation for being burly 'meat and potatoes' people," explains VeganMania co-founder and Chicagoland-based author Marla Rose. "But every year we draw thousands of inquisitive people, attracted by the speakers, panels, cooking demos, live music, dozens of cruelty-free vendors and the world's largest temporary all-vegan food court. People travel from all over to come, but Chicagoans have always embraced us with open hearts, whether they are vegan or not, because they simply enjoy a great time. Who wouldn't?" 

Here are six reasons to visit Chicago's VeganMania, whether you're vegan or not:

The Food is Delicious 

VeganMania's food court features a huge selection of vegan delicacies prepared by chefs from more than a dozen of Chicago's best loved vegan and vegetarian restaurants. The vast exhibit hall will also be hosting 80 tables of vegan foods (lots of free samples!) to inspire you to expand your snacking and cooking repetoire.

Vegan Products 

You'll find unique goods, many locally made by area artists, in the Exhibit Hall. Shop vegan clothing, shoes, handbags, cruelty free cosmetics and bodycare products. 

Cooking Demonstrations 

You'll learn new recipes and culinary tricks of the trade from top vegan chefs. The Chef Demo Stage will be offering cooking demos featuring some of the best vegan chefs in the U.S., including demos led by the Chicago Diner's master chefs Jo Kaucher and Kat Barry and Natalie Slater, author of Bake and Destroy.

Education 

The event boasts two presenter stages - the Presentation Stage where you can gain knowledge and inspiration from some of the vegan movement's top leaders and thinkers, and the more in-depth and participatory Discussion Stage, where groups of well-known vegans and everyday heroes join forces to discuss ideas and lifestyle tips in a more casual environment. This year's presenters on the Presenter stage include David Robinson Simon of Meatonomics and Dr. Terry Mason, Chief Medical Officer of Cook County Hospitals.  

The Opportunity to Meet With Experts 

You'll be able to get some one-on-one advice. The Ask a Vegan Expert table will offer attendees one-on-one advice from experts on such topics as Cruelty-Free Cosmetics, Veganic Gardening, Vegan Fitness, Vegan Childbirth and Parenting, and Vegan Cooking and Baking.

Admission is Free

This year's VeganMania is being held from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 11, at the Broadway Armory (5917 N. Broadway in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, a few blocks from the lakefront and about seven miles north of the Loop.) For more information, visit chicagoveganmania.com.