Herbivores and the herbivore-curious are invited to attend the free and family-friendly inaugural Long Beach Vegan Festival (LBVF) set to take place on Saturday, June 4 from 11:00AM to 7:00PM at Rainbow Lagoon Park in downtown. The all-ages outdoor event features all vegan fare, cruelty-free vendors, live music and activities for everyone.
Organized by Long Beach locals Kawani Brown and Edward Yniguez, a husband and wife team with two children who proudly profess their veganism, LBVF has been a long time coming. It was three years ago when the two conceived the idea and now, after a year of dedicated hard work, more than 8,000 attendees, herbivores and omnivores alike, are expected to descend on downtown to gather and grub.
Images courtesy of Long Beach Vegan Festival.
“We enjoy so much of what Long Beach has to offer throughout the year, and though we love attending events, our vegan family’s food options are often limited,” said Yniguez. “We really wanted to create a festival where plant based lifestyles were celebrated and a large assortment of cruelty-free food options were offered.”
The LBVF lineup of over 100 earth and animal-friendly vendors, includes vegan specialties from Gardein and Sambazon, as well as local eateries and shops and the Sierra Nevada Beer Garden. The musical lineup features Long Beach’s own Knyght Ryder and DJ Jack Pharaoh as well as Denmantau, Feli and the Lemon Shakers, Gambler’s Mark and Americana Super Radio. The Activity Area will feature yoga throughout the day, face painting, activities and crafts for kids and cold pressed juices from LBVF’s area sponsor, Shakti Juice.
“Long beach is a hub for eco and healthy lifestyles and we felt like it was time that we had a vegan celebration right here in our own city,” said Brown. “It was very important for us to have a vegan festival that was family friendly, so that our three- and six-year old could enjoy it as well! My daughter has her hand in the planning and can't wait!”
The festival will also offer Southern California vegan chili enthusiasts a chance to put their chilli-cooking skills to the test during the Vegan Chili Cook Off, where a panel of celebrity judges, including NBA Champion John Salley and author of Vegan Cooking For Carnivores Chef Roberto Martin, will decide who makes the best vegan chili in the area. Alongside bragging rights and a gift basket from Lazy Acres Market, the winner will receive the soon-to-be coveted Vegan Chili Champion Trophy.
“[I’m] definitely looking forward to starting the day with a healthy elixir and juice from Shakti, then trying some of the intriguing eclectic creations of our food vendors paired with an Otra Ves from the Sierra Nevada Beer Garden and then rounding out the day with some decadent sweets of which there will be many to choose from,” Yniguez said, when asked what vendors he was looking forward to trying out.
For more information and the full schedule of events, visit the LBVF website here and the Facebook page here. The organizers are also looking for more volunteers, so click here if you’re interested in helping this free event run smoothly.
Rainbow Lagoon Park is located at East Shoreline Drive.