Costumed Couple Promoting Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Costumed Couple Promoting Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival

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Joanie Freeman and Dave Redding Joanie Freeman and Dave Redding

Don't be surprised if you see a couple walking around Charlottesville in vegetable costumes this week. They're practicing the motto "you are what you eat," and trying to promote an upcoming event.

The Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival is now in its 17th year, and Joanie Freeman and Dave Redding are trying to make sure there's a big turnout this time around. The two have been walking along the downtown mall, and all around Charlottesville, passing out fliers for the event. Their costumes, which include a pepper, corn, and an apple, have attracted a lot of attention, especially from families with kids.

NBC 29's Whitney Harris put on the pepper costume to interview the couple and find out where they got the inspiration for the attire.

"Because it's fun," Redding said. "And it's an attraction to let people know the vegetarian festival is coming this Saturday," added Freeman.

The actual event will include 90 vendor tables with information, speakers, cooking demos, music, and entertainment. Three nutritionists will also be available to give individual consultations about people's diets. And of course, there will be lots of vegetarian food.

"We've got a horrible situation with obesity with people here in our country and this is to help people look at vegetables as the mainstay of their diet," Freeman said. "It's a way to bring the community into focus of eating healthier."

The event is for vegetarians and meat-eaters. Anyone is welcome to attend.

"You don't have to be a dedicated vegetarian to come on out and enjoy all the wonderful food vendors that we're going to have that will be providing delicious vegetarian meals," said Freeman.

Festival organizers say they get about 6,000 people at the event each year. This year's event takes place on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Lee Park in downtown Charlottesville.

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