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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Amanda Shilling slices Field Roast's apple smoked sausage for Veg'n Brew Fest attendees to sample Saturday at Headwaters Park.

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette KelsiCote Amig@s' Kelsi Lee performs during Veg'n Brew Fest at Headwaters Park on Saturday. The one-day event featured local and regional restaurants offering vegan fares, vendors, rescue groups, a plant-based cooking demonstration, and speakers on zero-waste living and much more. VIDEO

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Owner of Pranayoga Dani McGuire leads a yoga class during Veg'n Brew Fest at Headwaters Park on Saturday. The one-day event featured local and regional restaurants offering vegan fares, vendors, rescue groups, a plant-based cooking demonstration, and speakers on zero-waste living and much more. VIDEO

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Guests listen to the Sustainable Duo - Let's Get Zero-Wasted! presentation during Veg'n Brew Fest at Headwaters Park on Saturday. The one-day event featured local and regional restaurants offering vegan fares, vendors, rescue groups, a plant-based cooking demonstration, and speakers on zero-waste living and much more. VIDEO

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Hoosier Drive-In's Chasity Bickel works on preparing loaded nachos for a customer during Veg'n Brew Fest at Headwaters Park on Saturday. The one-day event featured local and regional restaurants offering vegan fares, vendors, rescue groups, a plant-based cooking demonstration, and speakers on zero-waste living and much more. VIDEO

Sunday, October 07, 2018 1:00 am

Strong sense of community at Veg'n Brew Fest

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

Thousands arrived at Headwaters Park on Saturday hungry and ready to learn and sample what it means to live a plant-based lifestyle.

Featuring food and beer from local and regional breweries, restaurants and bakeries, the free one-day Veg'n Brew Fest offered live music, cooking demonstrations, guest speakers and children's activities for those who came to partake in the day's revelries. Attendees could sample plant-based pizza, burgers, noodles, fries, pastries and other foods, while shopping at vegan, fair trade and eco-friendly vendors. 

Veg'n Brew Fest was a great opportunity for people to learn more about where their food comes from, said Janet Katz, director of the Northeast Indiana Local Food Network. Katz was manning a booth Saturday. 

According to its website, Northeast Indiana Local Food Network supports “the growth of a vibrant local food marketplace across Northeast Indiana by increasing the visibility and economic opportunities for our region's local food producers and businesses so they can expand their sales both locally and beyond.”

“Folks who are vegan and folks who are into local food both want to know where their food comes from and want to connect with it more,” Katz said. “There's a lot of overlap of people who are into foods for a lot of different reasons.” 

That common interest created a sense of community throughout the festival, Katz said. 

“We've had some great conversations here today. The people who are selling things seem to have long lines and everybody's saying the food tastes great,” she said. “For us, it was just really the ability to connect with people, find them where they are and have conversations.”

The festival was sponsored by Mitchell's Sports Bar and Grill, Young Urban Homesteaders, Kaya Organics, Health Food Shoppe, Foods Alive, Allen County SPCA, Pembroke Bakery & Cafe, 800 degrees Three Fires, 3 Rivers Food Co-op, HD Marketing & Design, Plant Based University, Granville Insurance, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and Sweetwater Sound. 

dgong@jg.net