Virtual vegetarian festival prompts Worcester to declare last week of July ‘Vegan Week’ in city

Virtual vegetarian festival prompts Worcester to declare last week of July ‘Vegan Week’ in city

The final week of July will be known as “Vegan Week” in Worcester as it plans to celebrate the 11th annual New England VegFest.

The virtual vegetarian festival scheduled from July 25 through Aug. 1 will include activities, including some in person, speakers from around the country and will coincide with Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty referring to the celebration as “Vegan Week,” the festival’s promoters said.

New England VegFest is one of the largest and longest-running vegetarian festivals in the country, attracting up to 10,000 attendees and a variety of veg-friendly vendors. Last year’s event was canceled due to COVID-19, and this year’s organizing committee decided to go virtual to ensure that all participants can join safely.

The virtual event will include an online plant-based vendor showcase featuring local and national veg-friendly businesses and causes. The virtual format has also allowed the festival to expand its participants to include vegan ice cream toppings, a panel discussion on the ethics and realities of cultured meat and a series of vegan cooking demos.

VegFest will hold a preview night at NU Kitchen on Chandler Street in Worcester on Thursday at 6 p.m.

The week will conclude on Aug. 1 with a speaker showcase including actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador Kat Graham. Petty’s full proclamation will be issued on July 25 and will be shared publicly during the speaking showcase.

“VegFest is thrilled to bring our festival to a virtual audience throughout New England while also honoring our roots with the declaration of Worcester Vegan Week,” VegFest Executive Director Jennifer Wyglinski said. “We’re working hard to create a great experience for everyone involved and hope participants will join us in whatever ways work best for them.”

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