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North East Vegan Festival gets underway to start Bank Holiday weekend

Picture from a previous North East Vegan Festival
Picture from a previous North East Vegan Festival
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A chocolate-making workshop, anti-cruelty puppet show and dozens of stalls serving plant-based delicacies are among the highlights of the North East Vegan Festival, which takes place today.

Thousands of vegans, vegetarians and intrigued meat-eaters are expected to attend the North East Vegan Festival at Gateshead International Stadium today (Saturday May 5).

The event was founded in Sunderland in 2013 by Farplace animal sanctuary, as a way of raising funds for the charity and promoting the vegan way of life.

The festival was such a success it spawned a string of similar events around the country. The Sunderland leg of the festival took place at the Stadium of Light earlier this year, and the Tyneside leg takes place today, running until 5pm.

There are dozens of stalls featuring hot and cold food, cosmetics, clothing and services, as well as a programme of talks and activities.

These include a chocolate tasting workshop with Pacari Chocolates. which will look at the truth behind chocolate and the origin and history of cacao, while also giving people the chance to taste four different award-winning Pacari organic dark chocolate bars.

The Lucky Little Fox Puppet Theatre is performing Lucky Little Fox and the Reluctant Hound in the festival's kids zone, there will be a screening of documentary film Speciesism: The Movie, and various prominent speakers will be giving talks.

Festival organiser Kerri Turner said: "It's a great event for vegans to come together and enjoy some great food, and for everyone - vegan or not - to try new foods and other products.

"Everyone is welcome and it should be a great event to start the Bank Holiday weekend."

Entry costs £3 on the door, with all proceeds going to the Farplace animal sanctuary.