August 10, 2019

Veggie Fest 2019 Opens With a Bang

Veggie Fest opened this morning with a few words from local dignitaries, among them Chris Pecak and Phil Suess, the mayors of Lisle and Wheaton, respectively. Dan Hebreard, president of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, welcomed Veggie Fest to its new location, and event coordinator, Jonathan Kruger, said: “With thousands of people already here, spread out all over this beautiful park, it doesn’t feel at all crowded. We’re looking forward to a great two days.”

Veggie Fest Chicago Rajinder Singh

This is the first year Veggie Fest is at Danada South Park at Navistar Drive, in Lisle, Iilinois, a new venue with much more room than at any previous location. More room, as we all know, means more of everything.

The 4000 sq. ft. kids’ tent was going full tilt at noon, and lots of little people are walking around with their faces painted. A separate area for toddlers and a special learn-to-meditate tent just for parents and kids are also part of the children’s program this year. 

The popular food court!

The huge international food court is going strong. You can check it out at, but to appreciate what it’s really like, you’ll have to do a taste test. A couple of the recent additions include four styles of vegan omelets (without eggs) and the rising star of the vegan burger scene, the Beyond Burger. South Indian dosas are back, and if you’ve never had one, come to Veggie Fest. We’ll save you a place in line. BTW, the lines move quickly.

Veggie Fest boasts an impressive roster of speakers, most of them yet to be heard. At noon today, Saraswati Sukumar, Ph.D., professor of oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in Johns Hopkins and professor of pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, spoke about her research on prevention of breast cancer using natural foods and herbs.


Photo above: Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj giving a keynote address at Veggie Fest 2019

Yet to speak, among others, is Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj, head of Science of Spirituality, chief sponsor of Veggie Fest, who will give keynotes on meditation for healthy living at 2:30 PM both today and Sunday.

Today at 4 p.m., John Salley, formerly with the Chicago Bulls NBA basketball team, will talk about why he adopted a plant-based diet. Kenny Duggal, MD, ABPMR, contributing author to Meditation as Medication for the Soul and assistant professor at Rush University Medical Center, speaks tomorrow at 4 p.m. His topic is “Eat Green, Get Lean.” 

The food demos haven’t quite started yet, but with famous chefs and lots of free tastings, we expect those tents to be busy. Backing up the scene on both days will be some great music. So far today, we’ve heard Zach and Deacon Blues, and we’re looking forward to Afinca’o, Brother John, Gizzae, and V. Holmes’ A Tribute to the Motown Greats. Judging from past events, people will start dancing sometime in the afternoon and stop when it gets dark or when the band leaves–whichever comes first.

If the activity so far is any indication of the rest of the weekend, Veggie Fest 2019 is going to be one to remember. There’s lots of room for everyone. There’s lots of free parking. There’s lots going on for kids and grownups. And there’s more than a lot of food. Remember, admission and parking are free. Come on down–we’ll meet you in front. And be sure to check out