SUNDAY, JUNE 2, 2024

Elm Street Urban Park | 4600 Elm Street | Chevy Chase, MD


With temperatures hovering around 80 degrees on Sunday, June 2nd, Elm Street Park in Bethesda, MD, once again was the site of Planet Maryland (formerly Planet Bethesda). Welcoming an estimated 4,000 attendees, the day-long festival tied together the three tenets of veganism: delicious plant-based foods for human health, lessening the impact on the climate with a simple eating style change, and saving thousands of animals every year.

This Sustainability festival featured fabulous food and eco-friendly products from more than 65 vendors, music, in addition to an electric car show, companion animal adoption opportunities, and inspiring talks from some of the most prominent voices in the whole-food plant-based, environmental, and animal rights movements.

Emceed by Washington DC’s DJ Soul the event began with an 11:00 AM introduction and welcome from Lisa DeCrescente, Director of the Planet Series Events, and Eric C Lindstrom, Executive Director of FARM, announcements, giveaways, and special guests continued to delight audiences from the main stage until 6:00 pm with notable speakers:

  • Dr. Sailesh Rao, Climate Healers
  • Climate Diet’s Executive Director Jane DeMarines
  • Eric Energy (Interactive Kid’s Science Spectacular Show)
  • Cooking demo by comedic cooking show hosts Sisters Serving U
  • PLNT Burger’s co-founder and Marketing Director, Jonah Goldman
  • Roxanne Becker, MD, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
  • Saurabh Dalal, Veg Society of DC treasurer
  • Dr. Alex Hershaft, President Farm Animal Rights Movement
  • U.S. Congressman Jamie Raskin, representing Maryland’s 8th District

During the day, attendees migrated from the main stage to a curated assortment of multicultural cuisines and educational-focused booths, all dedicated to healthy living for humans, the planet, and animals. Some notable vendors included:

  • Doshi
  • Fish Feel
  • GingerBeet
  • Just Ice Tea
  • Loving Hut
  • LUSH
  • Mad Magic Kombucha
  • PLNT Burger
  • PeTA
  • PetConnect Rescue
  • Peaceful Fields Sanctuary
  • The Vegan Factory

Other vendors offered a variety of vegan baked goods, hot and cold festival food favorites, scooped ice cream, Egyptian rolled ice cream and gourmet popsicles, personal care, cruelty-free skincare, hand-made crafts and art, composters and other eco-friendly products. The event also featured an electric car show, complete with a CyberTruck. New this year was the “Planet Bar”, a spirit-free libation bar featuring Gingerbeet DC and Mad Magic Kombucha.

This family-friendly event included a dedicated kids’ area sponsored by Georgetown Hill Early School where My Farm Friends coloring books were available along with games, Fairy Hair in Maryland, Bubbles Face Painting, LUSH teaching kids to make bath bombs, and PetConnect Rescue

Attendees were encouraged to enter to win prizes throughout the event, and hundreds of email addresses were acquired; names were drawn for a Hotbins composter, valued at $600, a LUSH “Art of Bathing Kit” sponsored by Green Earth Travel, valued at $150, a $100 gift card to DC Vegan, a bi-fold Pinatex wallet and one Pinatex money clip from Doshi Shop. The attendees were followed up with an event survey with vegan support links and more information about upcoming Planet events.

Planet Maryland was the second of the 2024 Planet Series Events Tour stops. The Planet Series Events Tour started with Planet Virginia on April 21st and continues with Planet Delaware from September 13-15, and concludes 2024 with Planet DC in downtown Washington, DC on October 20.

In addition to Planet Series Events’ sponsors, FARM, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and Sustainable Earth Eating’s Climate Diet, Planet Maryland was further supported by Hyatt Regency, Harris Teeter, MoCo360, Custom Ink, Veg Society of DC, among others. 

Thank you for putting on such a wonderful event and for allowing us to be a part of it. The event itself was beautiful – well organized, designed, and thought-out. It was delightful meeting the guests and the fellow vendors all day, kudos for an extremely well done event! Thank you!”

~ Melissa Peppe, Rooted3

“Thanks again for organizing an AMAZING event. I had so many customers that complimented me on my booth set-up and abundant sales! I had a wonderful time, as always- thank you.”

~ Red Mosaic Jewelry

“The growth from year to year has been amazing! Loved the variety of vendors, good crowd size, nice layout for tents, large number of helpful volunteers, well-balanced mix of kids activities, animals, food, entertainment, etc. Excellent event! Thank you for organizing and thank you for allowing us to be a part.”

“I was happy to see vendors come out from DC and Virginia so I could support businesses I do not visit often.”

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