Veganism doesn’t just offer a more ethical and cruelty-free form of living; it can be great for your health as well. With more Americans adopting a vegan diet, it makes sense that they should congregate and celebrate this alternative way of life.

We bring you a selection of vegan festivals, where folks who’ve gone meat-free socialize and share information, exchange ideas and offer support to worthy causes. Start packing, and head for these fabulous festivals:

1. The Chicago Veggie Pride Parade
Celebrating veganism, this fest will feature guest speakers, a costume contest, and tons of fun. A wonderful all-encompassing event designed to support local vegans and vegetarians, as well as to raise awareness about the benefits of a plant-based diet, it is the perfect opportunity to walk, socialize, learn, and celebrate the vegan lifestyle. Held annually in Paris since 2001, and then emulated in other cities, it has spread throughout the world. Very successful in New York for many years, this parade was first held in Chicago in 2012 and was a huge success with about 600 participants.
Details: The parade will be held on May 30, 2015 in Grant Park, Chicago.

2. The Sonoma County VegFest
A day-long event, you can expect to hear nationally-recognized speakers, taste delicious food and refreshing drinks, buy from dozens of local and bay area vendors, watch professional cooking demonstrations, and even try out free samples, including coconut ice cream.
Details: The festival is on August 15, 2015 from 10am to 5pm at the Santa Rosa’s Finley Community Center in California. There’s an entry fee of $5.

3. Veggie Fest 2015
Over 30,000 people attended this festival last year, and this year promises to be even betterwith public talks on topics as diverse as healthful living, spirituality in the workplace, and the impact of meditation within the medical community. There will be live food demos covering different subjects such as organic food, Ayurvedic cooking, tips on paleo, vegan, as well as gluten-free vegetarian dieting. And the best partmusic performed by live bands.
Details: The two-day weekend festival will be held on August 15 and 16, 2015 from 11am to 8pm.

4. The DC VegFest
This festival was founded by the Vegetarian Society of DC back in 1997, as VegFest DC. With more than 130 vendors, a beer garden, live music, cooking demos, presentations from renowned authors and celebrities, more than 15,000 people are expected to attend the festival. There’s a ‘barking lot’ for attendees with canine companions, to offer them a place with shade and a drink, and a kids’ activity area for parents with little children.
Details: The festival is on October 3, 2015 from 11am to 6pm at Yards Park in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Admission and all food samples are absolutely free. What’s more, the first 1,000 people to attend will receive a free tote bag filled with freebies and coupons.

5. The Central Florida Veg Fest
In its tenth year, this festival will have a variety of activities and information for everyonemusic, eminent speakers, yoga, kids’ activities, and information on what you can do to better your health, the health of animals, and the planet. Many fun and educational activities will take place throughout the day.
Details: The festival will be held on October 24, 2015 from 10am to 6pm at the Orlando Festival Park on Robinson Street in Florida.

6. The Atlanta Veg Fest
This festival will have several qualified and engaging speakers, loads of delicious food, and guaranteed fun for all ages. Organized by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the local community and promote the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, founded in compassion for animals, people and the environment, this fest is all heart.
Details: The festival will be held on November 7, 2015 from 10am to 5 pm in the Easley Conference Pavilion at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. While there is a $5 suggested donation at the door, no one will be turned away.

Head to our Food section for healthy recipes and the latest food trends.
Here are some more recipes and tips for a Vegan Diet.

Read More:
15 Reasons To Go Vegan In 2015
The Vegan Traveler’s Guide To Surviving In An Unknown City

Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.