Vegan Festival

Vegan Food Festival

SCOTTSDALE — The sixth annual Arizona Vegetarian Food Festival and Symposium is Saturday and Sunday at the Scottsdale Civic Center Amphitheater, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

As well as vegan foods, the festival includes film screenings, keynote speakers discussing such topics as the benefits of a plant-based diet and the challenges and benefits of vegan parenting.

Celebrity chefs, including Jason Wyrick, Noemi Garcia, Haritha Mogilisetti and Melanie Albert, will prepare sample bites on the cooking demo stage. A festival feature called “The Kumquat Kids” will include arts and crafts, circus props, face-painting, a bounce house and veg-oriented fun for children.

In the festival’s “Mind/Body” area, there will be drop-in classes in aerial yoga, meditation, chakra balancing, pilates, qigong and dance aerobics, a press release from festival organizers said.

Live entertainment includes performances from The Tree Huggers, Danielle Durack, Lee Perreira, The Riley Family Circus and vegan comedian Matthew Piccione.

The festival also offers a marketplace with dozens of plant-based vendors, nonprofit information tables, artwork by local artists and a fundraiser benefiting the Arizona Animal Welfare League and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

This year’s festival includes the screening of five award-winning short films from the International Vegan Film Festival. The films will be shown on Sunday.

  • “Bucking Tradition,” revealing the cruelty in organized rodeos.
  • “Casa De Carne,” a viral sensation set in the dark future.
  • “Coming Closer,” exploring the individuality of farmed animals.
  • “The Farm in My Backyard,” about the fur industry in Nova Scotia.
  • “Planet Vegan: Episode One — The Future of Meat,” focusing on the faux-meats of the future.

For ticket pricing or additional information, visit the festival website at


Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at