Celebrate Fourth of July With a Vegan Picnic in the Park

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In the nation of burgers and hot dogs, the Fourth of July elicits a flood of meaty BBQs across South Florida.

But if you're looking for an event that'll be more about the veggies and less about the cow parts, there's a meatless picnic going down at Topeekeegee Yugnee Park in Hollywood. Red, white, and blue vegan cupcakes, anyone?

The event is an effort by the Very Vegan Miami meetup group, helmed by Janay Laing.

"I want vegetarians and vegans -- and friendly omnivores -- to get together for simple fun and to have a good time. I focus less on potlucks and eating at vegan places and more on creative activities and entertainment," Laing says of the group.

As far as entertainment on our nation's birthday, there'll be speed-friending (like speed-dating, but platonic), field games (with prizes!), and special vegan s'mores too (cuz regular marshmallows are, sadly, not vegan).

There'll be plenty of food, all meat-free, natch, and plenty of like-minded folks to mix and mingle with. Shy folks needn't be scared either. Speed-friending makes breaking the ice easy as vegan pie.

But don't come empty-handed. It's a potluck, after all.

"For the picnic, I'd like people to bring a vegan picnic-appropriate dish that can serve five to ten people or veggie burgers or hot dogs for our BBQ grill," Laing says. "Also, I encourage guests to bring anything for personal outdoor enjoyment such as sport balls, Frisbees, kites, lawn chairs, or blankets."

And your party pants, of course.

The event is free, but there's a $1.50 admission to the park. It kicks off at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 4, at Topeekeegee Yugnee Park, 3300 N. Park Road in Hollywood.

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