In 2012, Patricia Haddock and Tara Sheldon founded VegRehoboth, a social and outreach organization to connect vegetarians, vegans and those who are just “veg-curious.” There is no judgment. All are welcome, whether you don’t eat meat on Mondays or avoid it entirely.
The response was so positive that they created a festival dedicated to all things veg, health and wellness. The next year, the one-day event expanded to three. Now in its fifth year, VegFest lets attendees explore a healthy lifestyle in more ways than one.
For instance, the weekend kicks off with a happy hour at Crooked Hammock Brewery in Lewes at 5 p.m.
The happy hour is followed by a 7 p.m. showing of the film “Seed: The Untold Story” at the Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware on Route 9, just west of Five Points. The documentary details the quest to preserve seed varieties threatened not only by the changing climate, but also by corporate control. “A lot of seeds are becoming extinct,” notes Sheldon, who became a vegetarian at age 13.
The main event on Saturday is a free festival, which will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Epworth United Methodist Church. (If it’s raining, the festival moves inside.) Expect speakers, cooking demonstrations, exhibitors, a children’s activity area, music and food vendors. Staying in Rehoboth Beach? Ride Jolly Trolley back and forth to the church from the bandstand for free.
The activities will continue with an art show, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Gallery 50 in Rehoboth Beach. Buntopia will provide the music, and The Cultured Pearl will prepare appetizers.
On June 11, there will be a vegan brunch at the veg-friendly Fork + Flask at Nage, which since 2009 has provided a Meatless Monday menu. The restaurant now has a dedicated menu for vegans and vegetarians. Guests can reserve a seat from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Call 302-226-2037.)
Sheldon hopes the event will appeal to those trying to reduce the amount of meat in their diets. But the benefits of a plant-based diet go beyond healthy eating, she says. “I hope folks will begin to make the connection between animal agriculture (both land and sea) and the devastating impact it has on the environment.”
For information, visit vegrehoboth.org.