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Inaugural VegFest will celebrate vegan lifestyle

Albert Brown’s exposure to vegetables amounted to corn and potatoes during his childhood in Texas.

“I never had a salad back then,” he said. “I had meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I used to hunt, fish and trap.”

Brown moved to Western New York at age 13 and, in his late 20s, chose a vegan lifestyle. “It’s reflected in my life in a really positive way,” he said.

The 48-year-old contractor and other like-minded eaters look to share the tenants of their world on Sunday, when they host the first Buffalo VegFest in Delaware Park, an event they hope will become an annual undertaking.

Festivities start at 11 a.m. with the Tofurky Trot, a sanctioned 5k run or walk starting at Marcy Casino. Former NHL toughs Andrew Peters and Georges Laraque will run the race, the Buffalo JoyWalkers will dance the entire course and Chris “The Wild Juggler” Pert will juggle while running.

Laraque became a vegan after his playing days with the Montreal Canadiens, and will be among afternoon speakers, along with Dr. Will Tuttle, author of “The World Peace Diet,” a best-selling book.

The free festival, which runs until 6 p.m. at the casino and in the Rose Garden, also will include cooking demos, entertainment, exhibitors and health food vendors, and a host of children’s and fitness activities.

More than 50 volunteers had a hand in organizing the festival, Brown said. VegFest will benefit two animal sanctuaries, including one about to open in Niagara County, and About Food Not Bombs, which donates vegan food weekly to low-income Buffalonians.

For more info, visit; the race cost is $25 before Sunday and $30 race day; and $12.50 or $15 for children under 18.


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