What: Chicago Green Festival
Where: Navy Pier, Chicago, Ill.
When: May 22–23, 2010
Why: Going green is just more fun in a city chockfull of vegan food.
The Scoop: With its year-round moderate temperatures, it's not hard to get comfortable living in San Francisco—even if the current season is perennially unclear. Is it autumn? Is it winter? Honestly, when it's 70 degrees and sunny two weeks before Christmas, we're not asking questions. Occasionally though, two Missouri girls just need a weekend in the Midwest to revel in classic summer weather: hot, hot, heat and some serious humidity. That was the forecast for our Windy City weekend spent working at the Chicago Green Festival, and boy were we excited.
The Windy City's skyline from Navy Pier
We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, and after downing some hotel-brewed coffee, made for the festival, held at Chicago's tourist destination du jour, Navy Pier. Our friend Sarah had happily volunteered to drive up from St. Louis to help work the booth with us on Saturday, and her help made the whole day that much more fun. We always love meeting subscribers and extended VN family members at shows, and finally getting to meet our superstar contributor Marla Rose and our March+April cover girl Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture was an extra-special treat. Additionally, Abby was thrilled—if not a little overwhelmed—to meet several, very lovely Savvy Abby fans. We were definitely feeling, and appreciating, all the Windy City love.
Sarah and Abby workin' it
After several long hours of making new friends, connecting with readers, handing out copies of our May+June issue, and selling VN subscriptions, we three ladies were ready for a little thing we like to call lunch. With a selection of the best vegan restaurants to choose from, we found ourselves in a sort of plant-based paradise: What to do? Abby and Sarah opted for the hearty, spicy Buddha Burger from The Chicago Diner, while I chose the savory, rich Mac 'n' Cheese and Corn Bread from Soul Vegetarian. Fully satisfied and left with lingering food comas, the consensus was that Chicago might know a thing or two about serving up excellent vegan comfort food.
Corn bread and mac 'n' cheese from Soul Vegetarian
After wrapping up the show on Saturday, Sarah, Abby, and I went back to our hotel to change out of our VN attire and met up with Abby's super fun friend Nick to head north for an evening of the finest cruelty-free cocktails and margaritas that Boystown has to offer. On Sunday, we awoke early to the hottest day Chicago has experienced since last summer—and no, we weren't upset about it. Clad in capped-sleeved tees and our favorite sunglasses, we trekked over to Navy Pier for more great Green Festival festivities.
If working at shows proves one thing time and time again, it's how awesome VN subscribers are. Hearing everything from people's recipe-testing stories to how they went vegan after reading a feature about the hazards of eating meat definitely made our weekend. While it's always a relief to board a plane back home, it's nice to know there's such great people waiting for you the next time you're in town.