The third annual Indy VegFest is coming March 30 to the Biltwell Event Center to teach Indianapolis residents about the benefits of healthy eating and introduce a broader audience to vegan, vegetarian and plant-based lifestyles.

Free and open to all, Indy VegFest helps connect the community with nonprofits that may not otherwise get appropriate exposure. The event will also feature clothing and cookware that don’t harm animals when produced.

Drew Kincius, who’s on the board of Indy VegFest, said people who are skeptical about ditching meat just need a positive experience to open them up to the possibilities of vegan, vegetarian and plant-based diets.

“If food doesn’t taste good, people aren’t gonna want to eat it,” he said. “For people who use that excuse, my guess is they haven’t had really good vegan food.”

Cooking demonstrations will allow attendees to take their new knowledge home, and experts in the fields of health and wellness, animal advocacy and environmental sustainability will give talks. Speakers at this year’s Indy VegFest include Indiana Pacers DJ Evan Black, registered nurse Jane Esselstyn and “Secret of the Troublemakers” author Kristina Hulvershorn.

Kincius said he hopes having speakers — as well as yoga classes and activities for kids — will expand the reach for food communities that are often labeled as strict and exclusive.

For those who want to show up early, get a good parking spot and avoid the long lines, Indy VegFest is selling early admission tickets for $32.28. That ticket guarantees one free drink and a goody bag with samples and coupons. Anyone who registers for free and shows their ticket is eligible for a goody bag that will be handed out randomly at the doors. The event is open to all ages, but there will be an age-restricted section around the area surrounding the bar on the second floor.

Indy VegFest organizers encourage attendees to bring a reusable bag for shopping and a reusable water bottle for free tap water at the bar. Boxed water and other beverages will be available for purchase.

INDY VEGFEST

While Indy VegFest is free and open to the public, registering online makes you eligible for goody bags with samples and coupons. Paying for early access from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. ensures a goody bag, one free drink and minimal wait times.

When: 1-6 p.m. March 30

Where: Biltwell Event Center, 950 S. White River Parkway West Drive

Cost: Free

Register: eventbrite.com

Early Access: $32.28 on eventbrite.com

Contact: indyvegfest@gmail.com

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