Things to Know About Chicago VeganMania 2012:
About the Broadway Armory
the Food Court Works
Commitment to the Environment
About the Broadway Armory
loved hosting Chicago VeganMania at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, but as
anyone who attended last year's event can attest, we have outgrown the
space. So this year, we're moving north to Chicago's historic Edgewater
neighborhood to the spacious and beautiful Broadway Armory.
as the Chicago Park District’s largest indoor recreational facility,
the 87-year old, but newly renovated Broadway Armory is also in
transition to become a mini convention center and exhibit hall. It is
the ideal size for Chicago VeganMania, and has a lot of amenities that
will help make this year’s event truly special. Here are some of the
building’s features, and the way we’ll be using them.
• At its center, Chicago VeganMania will feature the
22,000 sq ft Exhibit Hall (more than double the size last year’s three
halls combined!), that will house our amazing Vegan Food Court (more than a
dozen restaurant vendors), a large dining area, and space for at least
100 exhibiting vendors.
• Our Chef Demo Stage is located in a gorgeously
second-floor space featuring bamboo flooring and large windows that
provide a view of the festivities below.
• Directly below the Chef Demo Stage is a brand new
feature: the Workshop Room, that provides a more casual and intimate
setting for panels and interactive events.
• The Presenter Stage, featuring top vegan leaders,
is in the Southest corner of the Exhibit Hall.
• The Culture Café is also getting a big makeover,
with a larger room and a larger stage for a roster full of great
musical acts, as well as a live artists, gourmet coffee and a vegan
milk bar. The Culture Café is right off the
Exhibit Hall, but will feel like a completely different world.
• Our other favorite features will all be returning,
including a lively and activity-packed Kids’ Zone, a bookstore, the popular Vegan
Rockstar Photo Booth, the Graffiti Wall and more. We’re also working
on some other new excitements to enhance your Chicago VeganMania experience.
The Broadway Armory
is at 5917 North Broadway in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, a few
blocks from the lakefront about seven miles north of the Loop.
View The Broadway Armory in a larger map
Armory is just two blocks north and two blocks west of the northern
terminus of Lake Shore Drive. It's also just steps away from the
Thorndale Stop of the Red Line. Read on to help you decide the best way
to get there.
don't have a special deal worked with any particular hotel, but there
are a number of reasonably priced places to stay nearby. We live here,
so we haven't stayed at any of them, and we can't vouch for them,
though they all probably have to be pretty good to survive in the
Chicago market. But if you stay at one and have a lousy time, please
House 5863 Bed & Breakfast, 5863 N. Glenwood Ave, Chicago – 773.682.5217 – $149.00 per night
Best Western University Plaza, 1501 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL – 888.253.1628 – $89.00 per night
Margarita European Inn, 1566 Oak Ave, Evanston, IL – 847.869.2273 – $79.00 per night
Inn at Lincoln Park, 601 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL – 773.348.2810 – $89.00 per night
Hotel Lincoln, 1816 N. Clark St, Chicago. – 312.254.4700 – $97.00 per night
you would rather save a few bucks and maybe even make a new friend or two
by spending the night on the sofa of some Chicago-area vegan. There are
a few open places to stay in the loosely organized Chicago Vegan
Couchsurfing Network. If you'd like to find one of them, or if you live
in or near Chicago and would like to open your home to some friendly
travelers, please contact Gill (which is pronounced with a soft G like Jill). Please let her know in the subject line that you're interested in couchsurfing.
Broadway Armory is really easy to get to by public transportation, and
if this is a viable option for you, we strongly recommend it.
By el train: The
Thorndale stop of the Red Line is literally just a few steps away from
the main entrance to the Armory. Just walk out the entrance, take a
right and walk less than half a block to Broadway, turn left and cross
the street and you're there. If you're coming from the northern
suburbs, you can take the Yellow Line from Skokie or the Purple Line
from Wilmette or Evanston to Howard Street where you can transfer to
the Red Line. Every other el train line connects to the Red Line
downtown, and it's pretty easy to get on the el system from Metra.
The 36 Broadway stops right at the entrance of the Armory and several
other bus lines travel nearby. Get bus and train maps and schedules at Transit Chicago or keep up with the latest bus schedules at CTA Bus Tracker.
it or not, parking is by far the most controversial thing about Chicago
VeganMania. It boggles my mind that this is so. At least nine out of
ten messages and nearly all complaints we get are about parking. I'll
get into specifics in a moment, but first a general note: Chicago is a
really big and busy city. Land is very valuable, so people tend to live
close together and there simply isn't space for free 20-acre parking lots
like you see thoughout the suburbs.
That having been said, by Chicago standards, Edgewater is one of the
easiest places to find parking. There is metered street parking all
along Broadway ($1.75 per hour with a two hour limit, so you'll have to
come out and periodically feed them. They take credit and debit cards) and usually most spots are open.
None of the residential streets have restricted parking, and the area
is far away enough from the lake that it doesn't have towering
skyscrapers with thousands of people living on top of each other. So on a typical
day, it's nearly as easy to get a spot next to the Broadway Armory as it is at
a 7-Eleven in Naperville.
Of course, this won't be an ordinary day. It's Chicago VeganMania.
We've never hosted it at this location before, so we can only speculate
what's going to happen. But it's safe to say that at least several
hundred to a thousand cars will come into the neighborhood
that won't normally be there.
Still, the parking situation is exponentially better than it is around the Pulaski Park
Fieldhouse where we have held our previous events. It's never really easy to park around there.
We're also trying to rent some
nearby parking lots, but if we find some, they'll cost us money, so
we'll have to pass the charges on to whoever parks there. We strongly
recommend taking public transportation or at least carpooling.
To put it in perspective, parking is way more plentiful and cheaper
than, say, Lollapalooza or a typical Cubs game, and somehow tens of
thousands of people manage to show up for those. We happen to think
that Chicago VeganMania is pretty special, and it's worth a little
extra effort to get there.
bicycle is a wonderful way to get to Chicago VeganMania. The Armory is
less than a half mile from the northern end of the Lakefront Trail, and
Broadway has a bike lane. So far, we have not arranged a special
off-street bike lot, but there are a lot of places to park bikes
nearby. We'll be studying these in the next few days, and have clearer
information up here soon.
How the Food Court Works
of the many exciting things, and for many the most exciting thing
about Chicago VeganMania, is our spectacular vegan food court. This
year, it will be bigger and more exciting than ever with more than a
dozen vendors including many of Chicago's most beloved vegan and
vegetarian restaurants (Here's a list).
of the restaurants will directly take cash. Instead, we have minted our
own currency especially for the event. Our new $1 coins are just
another reminder that we're creating a whole new world. They're made
from aluminum and embossed with unique graphics that symbolize the mood
of the festival.
Near the main entrance and near the food court, there will be several
currency stations where you can exchange American dollars for the coins
from the Democratic Republic of VeganMania. These will be the only currency
accepted in the Food Court. The other vendors throughout the exhibit
hall will be conducting business using US money.
there is anything better than coming to Chicago VeganMania, it is being
among the first 100 to get in the door. In what has become a CVM
tradition, the lucky earlybirds will each receive a lovely cotton tote
bag loaded with all kinds of vegan food, bodycare products and other
goodies. It's just another way we like to thank you for being a part of
our big day.
The Greening Stations
vegan is about a lot more than just not eating animals. We see it as
living in harmony with the world, and as such, we at Chicago VeganMania
feel a deep commitment to protecting our city and our planet. One of
the most serious expressions of this is our Green Team and our greening
We start by insisting that all of our exhibitors use eco-friendly
compostable and recyclable utensils and packaging, and we avoid the use
of disposable objects wherever possible. Then, instead of trash cans
throughout the venue, we have Greening Stations, each staffed by a
Green Team volunteer, so that anything you throw away is immediately
sorted into compostable, recyclable and landfill waste. This is all
sorted more carefully later in a back room until we have saved
everything that can possibly be diverted from the waste stream.
As a result, our event last year – which was attended by more than
2,500 people who combined to eat thousands of plates of food and all
sampled food from dozens of other vendors – sent a total of five bags
of trash to the landfill, while turning more than fifteen times that
amount into new products or rich soil.
Water – BYOM! (Mug)
CVM's Marla RoseOne
of the most precious resources on Earth is fresh water, and while the
greatest threat to this is animal agriculture, the billions of plastic
bottles or water sold each year are their own eco-disaster (not to
mention that nature has yet to figure out how to biodegrade plastic, so
these bottles may well be around for thousands of years. once wrote a compelling story about this in VegNews, which is reproduced here).
Our response to this is to provide Water Stations at Chicago
VeganMania. The water, which will be filtered on site, will be free to
anyone who brings their own reusable mug or bottle. We'll also have
biodegradable cups on hand, but you really would rather not waste
one of those, would you?
Our Commitment to the Environment
by being or becoming vegan, we each have a profound positive effect not
only on our own health and the lives of billions of animals, but we
lessen our negative impact on water pollution, water scarcity, soil
erosion, fuel consumption, desertification, rainforest destruction,
species extinction, global warming, the death of our oceans and a whole
host of other environmental problems.
Beyond that, and beyond all the Greening Stations and Water Stations,
we at Chicago VeganMania take a number of steps to conserve the
environment. We do most of our promotion online, which saves a ton of
paper, and the printed materials we do create have been printed using
one of the most eco-friendly printers
in the world using no toxic chemicals at all, as well as post-consumer
recycled paper and vegetable based inks. Our t-shirts are made from
organic cotton and we repurpose and reuse materials whenever possible.
We love the planet, and we particularly love all the people on it,
especially in the beautiful city we call home. We have built what
we believe to be a prototype of a world of compassion, happiness,
abundance and vibrant health, and it is our goal to
delight and inspire everyone who comes in the door. We sincerely hope
that you have a wonderful time, and that you feel refreshed, energized
and empowered by the experience.
© 2012, Chicago VeganMania
All About This Year's Event
Court and Exhibitors
Media and Promotion
Past Events 2011
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