Plant-based bonanza for everyone

Rachelle Duffy (event organiser) with one of the participants, Monique Hemmingson, of Wild One Wholefoods Eatery. Photo: Chris Callinan.

Yes, the word ‘vegan’ may make some omnivores quiver, but there’s nothing to fear at this weekend’s Vegan Vibes festival.

This Saturday, September 24 will see Tauranga’s very first vegan festival come to fruition, say organisers Rachelle and Chris Duffy.

And though the couple may have organised the vegan festival-style outing as non-vegans, they say it’s a fabulous day out for everyone.

“Chris and I aren’t vegan, we tend to live more of a vegetarian lifestyle,” says Rachelle.

“I think it’s refreshing that Chris and I aren’t vegan and yet we’re putting this on, because we come with an equal perspective; we’re sitting in the middle and we want to appeal to everyone and not pigeonhole ourselves."

Rachelle says it’s more of a great festival where things just happen to be vegan.

“We haven’t gone down the track of labelling Vegan Vibes as an animal rights scenario, we’ve really labelled it as more of a healthy lifestyle,” says Rachelle.

“We will have food that people will want to eat there – and everyone is going to want to eat!

“It’s not just for vegans. Even though it’s called Vegan Vibes because obviously there won’t be any animal products, I think we’re trying to encourage people that just want to learn more or want to find out from a sustainable perspective as opposed to an animal rights perspective."

The day itself will involve a number of different delights – from plant-based food, animal and cruelty-free health and beauty products, fashion, and more.

“We’ve also got a kids’ zone with free face painting, live music from Sal Valentine and the Babyshakes; we’ve also got a huge emphasis on our guest speakers and workshops, we have headsets so people can sit down and listen to guest speakers, and we’ve brewed our own vegan beer from Mount Brewing Co,” says Rachelle.

“We’ve got markets as well so people can buy vegan beauty products, fashion and home décor so there’s going to be lots of stuff.

“I think people will be quietly surprised.”

Vegan Vibes is this Saturday, September 24 from 10am-4pm at Soper Reserve next to Rising Tide.

Rachelle says if the weather packs in, the event will be held at the Cargo Shed on Dive Cres. Check the Facebook page on the day for more information.

Door tickets are $6 or free if you pre-purchase and wear your Vegan Vibes T-shirt purchased from the Facebook store, and children under 14 gain free entry. Eftpos and cash are available on the door.

For more information, to check the final venue or for purchases, see:

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