Berkeley Heights Vegan Fest Focuses on Healthy Habits for People and the Environment
Submitted by Kim Diamond
From Friday, September 20 to Sunday, September 22, 2019, the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission (BHEC) and Sustainable Berkeley Heights (SustainableBH) will be producing Berkeley Heights Vegan Fest 2019, a free, 3-day event open to community members of all ages and to the general public.
The event’s focus will be on healthy habits and behaviors that people can adopt that will not only help them to maintain a healthier lifestyle, but will also help promote a more sustainable and healthier environment. Through the generous support of Gold Sponsors Brown & Brown and the Smith Chiropractic Foundation, the BHEC and SustainableBH are building upon and expanding the success of last year’s Vegan Fest, to make this second year of Vegan Fest a bigger and better event for the Berkeley Heights community and beyond.
The types of activities offered are aimed to appeal to a wide variety of interests, so that all community members will be enticed to participate. The schedule of events (which is subject to change) will include the following activities at different locations throughout Berkeley Heights and at different times each of the three days, so that community members can elect to attend these events as their schedules permit.
Yoga at Sunset. On Friday, September 20 at 6 – 8 p.m., LeeAnn Gerrato will lead a yoga session for people of all ages and skill levels. The event will take place on the dais in The Grove Park at the Connell Center at 200 Connell Drive. With the backdrop of the sun setting over Berkeley Heights and a beautifully landscaped waterfall surrounding part of the dais, this event offers relaxation and a total mind, body, and spirit experience.
Educational Panels and Children’s High Energy Dance Session. On Saturday, September 21 at 10 a.m. – Noon, join us in Lower Columbia Park, 411 Plainfield Avenue behind Columbia Middle School for an experience that children and adults will enjoy. The panels will feature a health-focused session and a planet-focused session, with experts in each of these areas as speakers. So that parents can enjoy the benefits of these panels and make this a family event, Jenn Eisenberg of Bold Arts will lead a High Energy, Creative Dance Class for young kids. Attendees will be entered into a drawing to win a free moonwalk/bouncy house rental from Silver Sponsor Taylor Rental.
Vegan Cook-Off – On Sunday, September 22 at 1 – 3 p.m. in Lower Columbia Park, come to sample some delicious vegan food and have a good time, or show off your skills as a chef by competing as a contestant in the appetizer, main course, or dessert categories. Winners will receive fabulous prizes from local vendors, such as a portable tailgating grill from Berkeley Hardware, a full body massage from Sublime, and two dinners for two at DiMaio’s. Provide the ingredients in your recipe and sign up to compete at the links located on the BHEC and the Sustainable BH websites noted below. Just for attending, audience members will be able to win fabulous prizes from local vendors as well.
Following Vegan Fest, the BHEC and Sustainable BH invite the community to take the Vegan Quest, a pledge to incorporate lessons learned at Vegan Fest by eating an all-vegan meal for lunch or dinner for one day or every day for a week, or by going full-vegan and eating only vegan meals for an entire week.
For more information about Vegan Fest, answers to FAQs, directions to events, and the Vegan Quest pledge, as well as the sign-up link to be a competitor in the Vegan Cook-Off, please visit: sustainablebh.org/home/veganfest-2019 or berkeleyheights.gov/387/Vegan-Fest.
Photos by BHEC.