(US/il) Veggie Fest to descend on Naperville this weekend
- [Chicago Tribune]
3rd Veggie Fest expected to attract estimated 10,000 people to
Naperville starting Saturday
Thirty miles and an ethos from the site of the Taste of Chicago
gorgefest, crews are setting up for a celebration that might be
considered odd in a suburb of the city once known as Hog Butcher for
It's called Veggie Fest, and it's in Naperville, the same city that
hosts Ribfest, an annual four-day celebration that draws 250,000
At Veggie Fest, organizers hope for a record turnout, maybe 10,000, or
about 4 percent of Ribfest's masses. Those who visit can attend
programs on vegetarian cooking for dummies, vegetarian soul food, even
something called Rah Rah Raw, among other offerings.
But this weekend's celebration of eating low on the food chain is more
than a community incongruity. It's a merger of history and
contemporary buzz, a small symbol of the building momentum behind
vegetarianism. It may mean that it's hip to be veg.
"It's no longer considered this leftist, hippie thing," said Peter
Manseau, editor of Search magazine, which calls itself "a non-profit,
non-partisan, non-sectarian magazine exploring the intersection of
science, religion and culture."
"Twenty years ago," added Manseau, an avowed carnivore, "if you said
you were a vegetarian, people would ask, 'Why would you do that?' Now,
people say, 'Wow, that's really cool that you've done that. I wish I
could do that.' "
Veggie Fest is sponsored by and on the grounds of the Science of
Spirituality Center, at Naperville Road just north of Warrenville
Road. The center is a global, non-profit, ecumenical organization
committed to a spiritual way of life through meditation. About 2,500
people attended the first, in 2005, and nearly 5,000 came out for the
second, in 2007.
SEE ALSO: Fest seeks to grow new crop of vegetarians
Vegetarian diet reduces cholesterol
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