VegFest makes its return to Allegheny Commons
Photo: VegFest attendees pet a pig during the festival, which took place on Aug. 28 at Allegheny Commons Park. The festival, which seeks to raise awareness for veganism, featured many animals present. Contributed photo
By Diya Singh | Chronicle Intern
Local vegetable fans rejoiced as VegFest returned to Allegheny Commons Park on Aug. 28, bringing with it all of the leafy-green goodness fans of the event have come to expect.
VegFest was organized by Justice for Animals, a local nonprofit, who brought dozens of vegan, sustainable and cruelty free vendors to the Northside. The Chronicle spoke with one of Pittsburgh VegFests’ co-founders, Leila Sleiman, who said they were, “hoping that people will make the connection between the animals they share their homes with, and the animals on their plates.”
Justice for Animals supports legislative initiatives in Pittsburgh based around protecting animals, according to its website, such as demonstrations against circuses or roadside zoos.
Whether the festival succeeds at that goal is up for interpretation, but what it certainly accomplished was bringing the community together for a common cause. Merchants from around the greater Pittsburgh area set up shops, lining the paths of the park. People from all over the city visited and enjoyed the uniqueness of each stand.
Scott Wells, from Ultra Matcha, said “it brings in a great diversity of natural foods… and an animal-friendly forward lifestyle.”
VegFest in Pittsburgh got its start in 2015 and has taken place annually, excepting for a pandemic-induced cancellation in 2020. That year, organizers held a virtual version of the festival instead.
The event has free admission and its website estimates annual attendance between 8,000 to 10,000 people.