Exeter has been chosen to host the finale of the world’s biggest vegan party.

A nationwide three-week Vegan Festival of Britain begins later this month, and Exeter will host its grand finale at Exeter Castle on Saturday, June 10, with a summer fair called Compassion. It will feature a daytime market with 40 stalls, talks and demonstrations, animal-free dishes from around the world, vegan cream teas in the afternoon and a barbecue in the evening with live music and a real ale bar €“ complete with a specially brewed Vegan Festival of Britain beer.

The finale is part of an ambitious festival that has been coordinated by Animal Aid to mark its 40th anniversary and to celebrate the rise in interest in plant-based foods. A Ipsos MORI survey of almost 10,000 people in the UK last year found that there are now more than 500,000 vegans in the UK €“ a rise of more than 350 per cent in 10 years.

Sidmouth-based Mark Gold , the festival’s national project coordinator said: “The fantastic festival events organised so far cement Exeter’s reputation as one of the country’s most vegan-friendly cities, and it is particularly exciting that the city has been chosen to host the finale of the world’s biggest vegan party. It promises to be a great day out for vegans and non-vegans alike.”

Entry into the event, running from 11am to 9pm, is free. The vegan market will run from 11am to 5.30pm, and will feature more than 40 ethical traders and compassionate charities stalls, including food, cosmetics, fair trade clothing, ice-cream, free food tasting and more.

Visitors can also enjoy mouth-watering dishes from around the world, talks and demonstrations, vegan cream teas between 2.30pm to 4.30pm, and a barbecue from 6pm to 9pm, with a real ale bar and live music from The Dillyboys and Fiddlers on the Green.