North East Vegan Festival (Nevfest) to go ahead at Sunderland's Stadium of Light despite weather

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Vegans, vegetarians and curious meat-eaters can stay warm and stock up on treats as the region's largest vegan festival takes place this weekend.

The North East Vegan Festival (Nevfest) is returning to its spiritual home at the Stadium of Light on Sunday March 4 - and organisers have confirmed it will go ahead despite this week's wild weather.

Gareth Edwards, founder of the Farplace animal sanctuary which runs the festival, said it would provide a chance for people to get together and enjoy food, drink and shopping with friends.

"It's a great event for everyone to keep warm inside," he said. "The Metro system is running and the car park at the stadium will be gritted."

The event will feature stalls selling a wide range of hot and cold food, drinks, cosmetics, clothing and other products.

There will also be a programme of talks and a fully vegan bar.

The festival was first held in Sunderland in November 2013, and has now become a twice-annual event in Sunderland, as well as spawning a string of vegan festivals around the country.

Since then veganism has taken off in the UK, with thousands of people switching to a plant-based lifestyle.

But Gareth said everyone was welcome at the festival, not just vegans, and particularly meat-eaters who may be interested in learning more about making the switch - or just interested in trying something new.

The festival was set up to raise funds for Farplace, a registered charity caring for and rehousing rescued animals in the North East. Bit it is also intended as a way of bringing vegans together, showcasing vegan businesses and new products, and promoting the plant-based lifestyle.

:: The North East Vegan Festival runs from 10.30am to 5pm this Sunday (March 4) at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, but it's best to get in early before all the goodies are gone.

Parking is free and tickets cost £3 on the door, or can be purchased in advance

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