By Kristin McKee
Photos by Will Dancer
Chicago VeganMania returned to Broadway Armory Park on Oct. 13 for its 10th year of celebrating the world of veganism.
Guests lined up outside the facility as early as 8:30 a.m. despite the event not starting until 10 a.m. For its 10th birthday, VeganMania gifted the first 100 attendees in line to an exclusive “swag bag” filled with free vegan treats. The bag included vegan goodies such as Cocomel Bites, Gorilly Goods trail mix, coupons for various vegan companies and non-animal tested toiletries.
VeganMania is a free one-day event that invites local vegan restaurants and companies as well as organizations, doctors and performers to serve, entertain and overall embrace vegan culture. Attendees had the opportunity to listen to special-guest speakers in the Speaker Room, watch chef demos and enjoy live entertainment in the Culture Café.
The event was located in the large gymnasium of the facility. Guests shopped around aisles of booths for accessories, clothing, cosmetics, toiletries, books and food. Food, of course, was the star of the event as guests filled up on free samples from different vegan snack companies such as Evo Snacks and Naturally Nutty.
The food court took up half of the gymnasium with local vegan restaurants including Kitchen 17 and Kālish selling reduced-size versions of some of their best menu items. VeganMania created V-bucks, tokens worth one dollar each, for food court transactions as real currency was not accepted in the court.
Vegan bakery, Pie, Pie My Darling was a major hit in the food court as the booth held a long line of customers minutes after the doors for the event opened and remained long all morning. The bakery sold some of their fan favorites including funfetti cake slices and Cookie Monster cupcakes.