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SB150 festival had something for everyone — even vegans

I, for one, was a huge fan of the South Bend 150 Birthday Celebration last weekend, May 23-24. I was excited to hear about it in the months leading up to it and I was thrilled to participate in it.

We arrived as a party of nine that sometimes became a party of 12 and sometimes a party of seven as busy teens either had friends join us, or trotted off to find other busy teens.

We were a great representation of family, as we had three kids under 10, two teens and four adults ranging from mid-30s to mid-60s. It goes without saying that we all had a good time. We chalked, played, climbed, enjoyed music, zip lined…you name it.

I am very impressed by the efforts put forth in the planning and executing, from the forward-thinking people who thought it up, to the volunteers who were enthusiastically representing their city and helping out.

We arrived at 1:30 and had a fantastic time in the kid zone and activity park, where we also worked up quite an appetite. Our walk to the food court might have been a little more cautious (fair type foods and vegans have little in common, more often than not), but I had downloaded the handy SB150 app and had already checked out some menus.

I started at the Purple Porch and had half of a curried cashew hummus wrap, loaded with fresh veggies and the gentle spice of curry. Yum.

Next, we wandered over and found the Whole Foods booth, where I had a kale salad and a (vegan) chocolate chip cookie.

Next to that was Bendix Coffee and they were thoughtful enough to have soy milk available, so I enjoyed an iced coffee with a little hazelnut syrup and a splash of soy milk. A little later, I also went back for an Arnold Palmer (half lemonade, half iced tea).

You cannot imagine our divine pleasure at stumbling onto the ice cream cart that had popsicles! La Rosita has, hands down, the best popsicle I have ever tasted — limon.

The funniest part of that experience was finding out that grown ups make the exact same face as kids when the last part of the cherished icy treat somehow falls off the little wooden stick and hits the ground.

I’m sure we didn’t find all the vegan foods at the festival, but it was awesome to have so much variety. Kudos to South Bend and all the vendors for being so welcoming for so many!

For more tips and tales of dining vegan in Michiana from Crystal Hallwood and her fellow meatless maven Rama Ganesan, subscribe to the Vegan at the Bend email newsletter.

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