The Central Florida Veg Fest will be held in downtown Orlando on Oct. 25.
The Central Florida Veg Fest will be held in downtown Orlando on Oct. 25.

ORLANDO – Cookouts on the grill with sizzling burgers, steaks and hot dogs, outdoor events featuring plenty of beef products …. Sigh.
What’s a veggie lover to do?
One possibility is to set aside Saturday, Oct. 25, make a trip to Orlando Festival Park, and revel in the largest vegetarian festival in the South – a virtual who’s who of plant-based goodies.
The Central Florida Veg Fest will be celebrating its ninth year on Oct. 25, when it gets held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the park at 2911 E. Robinson St. in downtown Orlando. It’s partly a celebration of vegetarian cooking and meals, partly a fund-raiser to further the cause of a vegetarian lifestyle, and partly educational. Anyone who desires to learn more about the benefits of vegetarian eating, this is the event for you.
“The event,” the organizers note, “provides a diverse cross-section of products and services from over 150 vendors and 100 contributors. All money raised from the event will be used for local veg-related education.”
This festival was founded by Vegetarians of Central Florida, which has 2,000 members and works to encourage and support vegetarians and vegans who call this region home.
“It also invites people who still eat animal products to explore Central Florida’s plentiful vegetarian options,” the group notes. “The goals of Veg Fest are to support all vegetarians and people who are on the road to becoming vegetarians, regardless of their motivation; proactively promote vegetarianism in a non-judgmental way; and help empower people to make positive changes in the way they eat and live.”
What they sponsor, the group insists, is a vegan paradise.
The theme of Veg Fest 2014 is “Planting the Seeds of Health, Sustainability, and Compassion,” and the festival will include speakers who will talk about the vegetarian lifestyle, eco-friendly exhibitors, and food preparation demonstrations.
There will also be games for kids, the opportunity to adopt dogs and cats, and live entertainment. There will be booths offering meals from area restaurants, and community garden tours.
Heather Henson’s IBEX Puppetry, the entertainment company that promotes the art of puppetry in different mediums, will be on hand for different activities and performances.
Children and dogs are welcome at this event, which the organizers say will be smoke-free as well.
Admission is free, and on-site parking is available for $5. A free bike valet will be available next to the community garden.

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