What does marathon runner and power lifter Dominick Thompson have in common with Big Macs?
Both will be at Niagara VegFest on Sunday, June 3, when the annual celebration of plant-based diets hits St. Catharines Market Square for its seventh year — only the Big Macs will be vegan versions, made by Globally Local.
This year's event will feature nearly 100 vendors and a roster of speakers, including Thompson, who will discuss his journey from prison to vegan activism during his talk “Redefining Masculinity Through Veganism.”
The festival will also feature a family activity area with children’s programming by Rodman Hall Art Centre, Niagara Inflatables and the Smoothie Bikes, and live music by Turbo Street Funk and The Latin Vintage Orchestra, provided by TD Niagara Jazz Festival.
This year to usher in the festival, Niagara VegFest has added a new dining event called Veg-ilicious, which will see local restaurants offer a prix fixe, three-course vegan menu between Thursday, May 31 and Sunday, June 3.
Participating restaurants are Fiddler’s Pour House, The Lemon Tree, Mahtay Café and Lounge, oddBird, The Office Tap & Grill and Rise Above.
“We’re so excited to bring Niagara VegFest back for a seventh year, bigger and better than ever before,” says Laurie Morrison, VegFest co-founder.
“We couldn’t be happier with how Niagara has embraced this festival, and the response from world-class speakers, and renowned vendors and restaurants who are participating in this year’s event.”
Admission to Niagara VegFest at St. Catharines Market Square is $5.
Children 12 and under are free to attend. The first 5,000 festival-goers through the door will receive a $10 food voucher for Fiddler’s Pour House.
Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold and to pack a re-usable water bottle to take advantage of the free water offered by the Niagara Region Water Wagon.
For the full roster of speakers and vendors visit, niagaravegfest.com.
VegFest in the Vineyard, the popular self-guided wine and food tour through Niagara’s stunning wine country, also returns on Saturday, June 2.
Passes are $20 and include stops at Pillitteri Estates Winery and The Hare Wine Co. in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Cave Spring Cellars and Flat Rock Cellars in Jordan.
Tickets for VegFest in the Vineyard can be purchased online in advance at, niagaravegfest.com.
Saturday’s events will finish with a screening of the documentary film H.O.P.E.: What You Eat Matters, which investigates the consequences of Western diets. The film screens at 9 p.m. at The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Film House.