The Riley Rainbow Family Circus will be back by popular demand. The group consists of Sean, Marina and their 3 young children who tour the country with traditional circus acts as well as musical entertainment. Bella Riley is the one who dances with swords and also performs a mesmerizing dance where quarters roll down her body. Her sister, Mia, can get out of any lock or chain, and performs her contortionist feats while suspended in the air. And their brother, Jai, is known for his fast moves with a spinning staff.
Other entertainers to appear at the festival include award-winning musician Lee Perreira, singer-songwriter Danielle Durack, the multi-talented Ellie Fern who accompanies her vocals on ukulele and guitar, the 5-piece band Barefoot, stand-up comedian Matthew Piccione, and jazz musician J White.
On the other side of the festival grounds, a variety of instructors will invite attendees to relax on the Mind/Body Stage.
Alison Leonka will give a yoga asana class for all levels. She received her degree in Wellness Foundations and Dance from Arizona State University and her Occupational Certificate in Yoga Instruction from Iyengar Yoga Center of Scottsdale.
Tiana Hill and Danielle Godfrey will offer sessions of floo-id yoga. Tiana is a native Phoenician who received her Yoga Alliance 200-hour certification in 2011. Danielle has been teaching a broad range of styles since 2001, with expertise in verbal and hands-on adjustments.
Crystal Valentina will facilitate chakra balancing. She is a 500 RYT instructor with an emphasis in sound healing and yoga nidra at Spirit of Yoga for the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe.
Instructors from Club Pilates will also be on hand, as will teachers from Elevate Yoga & Wellness (offering aerial asanas).
But what does all this have to do with vegetarian food? Event co-organizer Sarah Feoli answered, “Everything! We want people to experience how fun and energizing a plant-based lifestyle can be. So it’s a lot more than eating in a cruelty-free way.”
However, food is indeed a big part of the festival. There will be scores of vegan vendors selling and giving out samples of everything from soup to nuts. A few examples:
Vagabond Vieiras (vegan pizza)
Kettlelicious Kettle Corn
Hot Bamboo (steamed buns and rice bowls)
Sogno Toscano Olive Oil Boutique
Maya’s Cajun Kitchen (po’boys)
Tommy’s Superfoods (seasoned vegetables)
Simon’s Hot Dogs
Alchemy Roast (mate drinks and chocolate-covered coffee beans)
Freak Brothers Pizza
Veggie Village (Chinese cuisine)
Caribbean Queen (vegan jerk chicken and sweet potato fritters)
Cutting Board Bakery and Café (vegan soul food)
There will also be vegan apparel vendors such as Vegetaryn, beauty product purveyors like Tierra Goes Green, and information tables staffed by several organizations including Share International and the Foundation for Wellness Professionals.
A variety of keynote speakers and celebrity chefs will hold forth on the Apple Stage. Young festival attendees can visit the Kumquat Kid’s Area for arts & crafts and a bounce house. The Artichoke Arts Area will feature art on a vegan theme and a hilltop vantage point for unique selfies. There will also be a raffle benefitting the Arizona Humane Society, whose volunteers will showcase adoptable animals on site.
Admission to the festival is free for children under 10, seniors, and active-duty military. Currently there are a number of ticket specials running for those who purchase in advance. Visit https://www.azvegfoodfest.com/index.php/festival-info/tickets for further details.
The festival is presented by U.S. Veg Corp, an 8-year-old company which sponsors large-scale vegan events across the country. Its flagship event is the New York City Vegetarains Food Festival held in Manhattan every spring. For further information, visit https://www.usvegcorp.com/.
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