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Vegfest returns to Charlotte following a 2-year pandemic hiatus

The festival started in 2012 but had to take a break in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Vegfest is one of the last festivals to make a comeback in the Queen City. 

The festival started in 2012 and grew to set a record in 2019, with more than 5,000 people in attendance, but had to take a break in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Even though events were starting to pick back up at the end of 2020 and in 2021, clearly, we still wanted to make sure that safety was at top of mind," Jameka Whitten, a Charlotte Vegfest committee member, said. 

Event organizers said this year's event, which will be held from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 17 at Camp North End, is already seeing high demand for the event. Officials said they have already filled more than half of its vendor spots. 

The event showcases all aspects of vegan culture: including the food, the consumer products, and the lifestyle.

"They get so nervous when you talk about not eating meat and not eating dairy and all these things, and especially in the South," Whitten said. "But this is an opportunity to kind of show the community what we're all about, but it's also very welcoming."

The nonprofit eased back into the festival scene with a 'Vegfest Jr.' event earlier this year. This gave the community a small sampling of what it's been missing since 2019 and also a preview of what's to come in 2022.

"I am thrilled," Whitten said. "I am ready. I want to see people. I want to taste all of the good food. I want to hear the music. I want to see the artists. I just want it all. I need the experience."

The free event this year will feature a variety of vegan foods, local veg restaurants and food trucks, local vendors, live music, speakers, nutritional experts, vegan cooking demonstrations, free prizes, gift bags and more. VIP tickets are also available for purchase.

Whitten said she encourages everyone to come to the festival and give vegan culture a try. 

"Definitely keep an open mind because I will tell you that there are some meat-free alternatives that will blow your mind," Whitten added. 



Charlotte Vegfest is a 501(c)(3) non-profit aimed at growing the vegan community and supporting vegan and vegan-friendly businesses in Charlotte, NC. Charlotte VegFest (our annual 4000+ person 150+ vendor event) is a celebration of healthy, sustainable, and compassionate eating and explores the endless benefits of vegan living.


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