For people who don’t partake in meat or dairy, cookout season can be frustrating. This year there’s a cookout coming to the West Side that answers all of their prayers and then some.
The plant-based cookout and block party will take place at the Shifting Energies Fairgrounds on July 6. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s presented by the Urban Community Revitalization Project, an organization founded by Issa Prescott and Akumba Ashanti that focuses its energies on enlightening the masses on veganism.
The event may be geared towards a plant-based lifestyle but is being labeled as a “family friendly” event that along with over 50 food vendors will also have a live DJ, face painting and kids yoga.
“We feel like this event is important because we saw something that wasn’t being provided to the community,” said Prescott. “We wanted to create an opportunity for all of the vegans that felt neglected on the Fourth of July. We feel like this is a revolutionary idea.”
Americans spent more than $800 million on beef, $371 million on chicken, $218 on pork, $85 million on shrimp and $48 million on salmon during the two weeks leading up to the Fourth of July, According to 2018 Nielsen market research.
The Vegetarian Times reported in a recent study that only 3.2 percent of United States citizens (roughly 7.3 million Americans) identify as vegetarians. Less than 1 percent (or nearly one million Americans) as vegans.
The plant-based cookout is as much about an ideal as it is an option for vegans and vegetarians according to Prescott.
“This is a vision that is a long time coming,” said Prescott who shared stories of how friends that are not vegan found it difficult to include vegan options for their BBQ and cookout guests. “We’re all about revitalizing black and brown communities through health and wellness, entrepreneurship and the arts. By focusing on those three areas we feel like we can change our community from the inside out.”
“And we just want to give vegans an option on Independence Day weekend.”
The Shifting Energies Fairgrounds are located at 1149 Lee Street, SW in Atlanta. Tickets for the event are $5 and free for children 12 years old and under. VIP tickets are being sold for $20 and will include access to the lounge (the entire event is outdoors with the VIP lounge being in a separate area) and a swag bag that will include special vegan products from selected vendors.