Vegetables and healthy lifestyle tips will take center stage in Kansas City with the third Midwest Soul VegFest on Sat. Oct. 8, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Swope Park Pavilion, 3999 E Meyer Blvd, KCMO.

The event is free and family friendly.

People can expect a festive yet educational experience, with activities and workshops for kids and seniors. There will be a farmers market with about 50 vendors that vary from food to eco-friendly items, a pig sanctuary, and live entertainment featuring producer and songwriter Jo Blaq.  

Gigi Jones, founder of Midwest Soul VegFest, said her whole concept for the festival is to inform and invest in local resources to create a healthy community. 

In 2016, Jones overcame colon cancer by changing her lifestyle and nourishing her body with organic living foods. Her personal experience is the main reason why she established the Midwest Soul VegFest, to help educate the community on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. 

With high rates of obesity and diabetes in the Black community, Jones feels the need for intervention is urgent.

Whether individuals are vegan, transitioning, or meat lovers, everyone is encouraged to attend this free event. 

Workshops at the festival will instruct people how to grow their own food at home, indoors or outdoors. A chef will also prepare and demonstrate how to cook a plant-based meal at home. 

Seniors who attend the festival will have a designated VIP area that gives them access to front-row seats for presentations. Seniors can get free health services like blood pressure checks and take-home DIY colon tests. 

Among the keynote speakers will be Dr. Milton Mills of Washington, D.C., who will speak on the use of nutritional measures to reduce the risk of major chronic diseases and Sarina Farbs, a Midwest-based vegan educator.

Prior to the event, Soul Child Awakenings, a certified local healing service, will start the morning off with a stretch session. Mayor Quinton Lucas will open the event and give his blessing. 

Jones said this festival is different because it’s all about peace, love, and wellness. 

“We want people to be curious,” she said. “We want to give people information that they can take back home if they have someone that’s suffering from high blood pressure or diabetes. Get educated for yourself, your family, and the community.” 

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Simone Garza

Simone Garza is a reporter in our Kansas City office. In addition to general reporting on Kansas City’s African-American community, she reports on economic inclusion for the African American community....

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