Big Island Veg Fest returns to celebrate all things plant-based

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Bring out your picnic blankets, folding chairs, reusable utensils, refillable water bottles and plenty of smiles to celebrate all things plant-based. It’s official: Big Island Veg Fest is back for its second year.

People stop by a booth during the first Big Island Veg Fest. The festival that celebrates everything plant-based returns July 8 in Hilo. (Screenshot from Big Island Veg Fest website/photo courtesy of Alec McCrady)

This year’s festival is planned for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 8 at Mo‘oheau Bandstand in Hilo.

The free community event is dedicated to showcasing the personal, moral and environmental benefits of a plant-based lifestyle and will feature a variety of speakers, hands-on activities, food vendors, demonstrations by local chefs, booths showcasing Big Island organizations, live music and healthy living shopping.

“Our guests will have the opportunity to try new foods, find ways to improve their health and learn exciting methods for preparing plant-based dishes, all of which help improve the health and wellness of themselves, their ‘ohana and the planet,” said Veg Fest organizer Alessandra Rupar, who also is the brains and heart behind the social media platform Vegan Aloha, in a press release.


It’s all meant to show how how delicious, nutritious and invigorating it is to eat a diet focused on organic, locally-grown produce.

Food vendors will includes Nicoco Hawaiian Gelato, Big Island Grindz and Banzos, with retailers including Periwinkle Moon, Gem Vibrations Jewelry and Kahuna Products also slated to participate. Speakers will include chef Stephen Rouelle from Under the Bodhi Tree and Jana Bogs, who has a doctorate in horticulture and food science.

Nonprofit organizations that will be at the festival will include the Hawai‘i Animal Kuleana Alliance, Magical Creatures Sanctuary and Big Island Farm Sanctuary.


The live music will be provided by musicians such as Kanaka Fyah, Mano Ali‘i and Trill LeBeau.

“We are so excited to have the community join us to find inspiration and motivation,” Rupar said in the press release. “This gathering is a fun way to celebrate the bounty of nature and the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.”

Big Island Veg Fest sponsors include Vegan Aloha, Sanctuary of Mana Ke‘a Gardens, Vegan Society of Hawai’i, Island Naturals Market and Deli and VegFund.


Volunteers are still needed to help make the festival a success. Anyone interested in getting involved can email [email protected].

For more information, visit the festival website, follow the festival on Facebook or click here.

An example of food offered during the first Big Island Veg Fest, a festival that celebrates all things plant-based. (Screenshot from Big Island Veg Fest website/photo courtesy of Alec McCrady)

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