Animal advocacy organization Compassion Over Killing (COK) is gearing up to host the 10th annual DC VegFest on Saturday, September 15. The East Coast’s largest vegan gathering is a free event happening at Yards Park in Washington DC, and is expected to draw more than 20,000 visitors.

Featuring over 120 vegan food vendors and exhibitors, the crowd will almost literally get a taste of all things vegan while learning about the importance of a plant-based diet in protecting planet earth and its inhabitants — not to mention the health benefits for us. The first 1,000 people through the gates will even receive free tote bags packed full of samples and freebies from festival sponsors.

“Since 2009, DC VegFest has been bringing the community together, through fun and flavors, for a day of compassionate celebration that pre-vegans and vegans can all enjoy,” said Erica Meier, Executive Director of COK. “Compassion Over Killing is thrilled that Washington, DC is home to an abundance of delicious and nutritious plant-based food and, as the nation’s capital, is setting a positive tone for a much-needed national dialogue about the far-reaching impact of our food choices on the planet, our health, and animals.”

Keynote speakers will grace the stage throughout the day, from celebrities with inspirational words about veganism to chefs creating amazing, mouth-watering, plant-based goodies.

Featured speakers this year include a variety of authors, foodies, activists, nutritionists and vegan advocates, including COK Director of Investigations Mike Wolf, authors Trayce McQuirter, Carol Adams, Genny Messina and Beverly Kumari, Washington Post Food and Dining Editor Joe Yonan, and many more.

COK’s expert vegan food & lifestyle coach, Jessica Carter, will host a tasting booth, and local restaurant chain Busboys and Poets will open up a beer garden and music tent featuring craft-brewed beers and live tunes.

There’s plenty for the kids too, with The Kid’s Zone planning storytime, cooking demos, crafts and other activities for the little ones.

Those craving some animal time will be able to visit the shaded ‘Barking Lot,’ sponsored by Humane Rescue Alliance — they’ll have animals looking for their forever home. Visitors are also welcome to bring their leashed dogs along to enjoy the action. If things get too hot, they can join the team at the Barking Lot to sit in the shade and have a refreshing drink.

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