VeganMania is Chicago's premier celebration of all things vegan and wonderful. From cooking demos to veggie-focused workshops and of course, delicious treats galore, there's something for everyone at this foodie fest Even if you're not vegan, it makes for a wonderful opportunity for anyone looking to incorporate more fruits, veggies, and meat-free items into a daily diet. 

"We are very excited to be bringing Chicago VeganMania back for yet another year because our response in this city has always been amazing," explains VeganMania co-founder Marla Rose. "CVM is a kind of living, organic, dynamic thing and while as event planners, we always set the stage for our fetival to be the best it can be, it changes a bit from year to year. Each year seems to build on the previous year. A common thread stitched throughout, though, is it always draws on an enthusiastic crowd that is eager for a fun, lively event.

Here are five reasons why you won't want to miss at this year's VeganMania festival, hosted at the Broadway Armory on Saturday, September 23.

It's Not Just for Vegans.

"CVM is great for vegans and non-vegans alike," shares co-founder Marla Rose. "We are welcoming to everyone no matter where you are on the continum. There is something for everyone and the feedback I have recieved since the first time we staged CVM is that it feels very celebratory, a little like vegan Christmas, but there is something everyone can enjoy."

The food is delicious.

A dedicated Vegan Food Court will feature 20 restaurants serving up delicious bites, including delightful dosas from Art of Dosa, moon pies from Ka'Lish, jibarito sliders from the Chicago Diner, satay skewers from Alice & Friends and more. Expect a fine selection of juices and teas from Gandi the Juice Guru and Bettina's Artisan Teas.

Shop 'til you drop in the giant Exhibit Hall. 

The event's 24,000 square foot exhibit hall will feature over 80 exhibitors. Shop vegan clothing, shoes, handbags, cruelty free cosmetics and bodycare products, and more, from a variety of locally-based artisans.

You'll learn new recipes and culinary tricks thanks to a variety of Cooking Demos.

If you're looking to learn new veggie-focused  recipes and culinary tricks of the trade from top vegan chefs, head to the festivals Chef Demo Stage. A packed schedule features cooking demos from some of the best vegan chefs in the U.S., including demos led by Pie, Pie My Darling baker Heather Bodine-Lederman and VeganMos chefs Michael Suchman and Ethan Ciment.

You'll meet experts in nutrition and wellness. 

Increase your nutrition and wellness knowledge at the Presenter Stage and the more intimate Discussion Stage, where vegan nutrition experts, authors, athletes, and restaurateurs will share important info, tips, and more. This year's presenters on the Presenter Stage include Dr. A. Breeze Harper is a diversity strategist and analyst with Critical Diversity Solutions and the founder of the Sistah Vegan Project. and Milton R. Mills, M.D., serves as associate director of preventive medicine for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a North American group of doctors and laypersons dedicated to promoting improved health care, better and more appropriate nutrition, and higher standards in medical research. In the Workshop Room, attendees may interact with panels of experts on such topics as Vegan Nutrition and How to Get Active Locally.

 

This year's VeganMania is being held from 10 am - 5 pm on Saturday, September 23, at the Broadway Armory (5917 North Broadway in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, a few blocks from the lakefront about seven miles north of the Loop.). Entry is free, but a $5 donation is suggested. For more information, visit chicagoveganmania.com.