VeganMania began as a crazy half-thought-out idea and gradually took
shape over the course of a year as a small group of dedicated
dreamers molded it into an exciting festival that was just a little bit
unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. We knew we wanted to
center it around a group of Chicago's best vegan and vegan-friendly
eateries, and those showed up in force: Soul Vegetarian, The Chicago Diner, Cousin's Incredible Vitality, The Great Taste Café, Veggie Bite, Delicious Café, Upton's Naturals, Ste. Martaen (vegan) cheese, Raw Creations, and Vega/Sequel
all sampled and sold their wares to a hungry group of more than 1,200
attendees who all combined to turn the stylish Pulaski Park Fieldhouse
into a lively house party.
These restaurants were joined by about 50 vendors and exhibitors, a
vegan art gallery and fashion showcase, djs, wandering food samplers, a
children's craft area, and other surprises.
Our speakers included Caryn Hartglass from EarthSave International, Nathan Runkle from Mercy for Animals, author Dr. Will Tuttle, the vegan MD Dr. Michael Greger and a heartfelt workshop from the Plant Peace Daily team of Rae Sikora and JC Corcoran.
We had live entertainment from Girls Rock Chicago phenoms Circular Convention, bellydancer Deserae Hunyar folksinger Bryan Harrell, electronica wizard dreamlogicc, and the funk rock band Darmata.