Ghent, Belgium, celebrates 1 year of Thursday Veggie Day

International Vegetarian Union | Tobias Leenaert | 04/29/10

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On Thursday May 6, starting at 11am the city of Ghent (Belgium), will celebrate the anniversary of the Thursday Veggie Day-campaign on the Groentenmarkt ('Vegetable Square) . Everyone who commits to participate in a weekly veggie day will receive Ghent's tastiest sandwich, which is to be revealed on this day.  In addition we're introducing the brand new Thursday Veggie Day Cookbook and TV-celebrity Evy Guyaert will present her new Start To Veggie book. Councilman Tom Balthazar takes stock of one year of Thursday Veggie Day and new campaign-material will be presented.

International following
When the city of Ghent announced it support EVA's Thursday Veggie Day-campaign in May 2009, it got worldwide coverage. Until this day, EVA (Ethical Vegetarian Alternative) and the city of Ghent are visited weekly by international journalists who enthusiastically report about this phenomenon, from Time Magazine to Tokyo's national TV. Ghent's example spread throughout the world: in the meanwhile the Belgian cities of Hasselt, Mechelen, as well as Sao Paulo, Bremen, San Francisco and Cape Town have followed Ghent's lead.

Second Veggie happening: everything veggie!
On May 6 between 11h30 and 2pm the second Veggie happening will take place on the Groentenmarkt:

- Tom Balthazar, councilman for the environment, will blow out a candle on the Thursday Veggie Day vegetable cake. He will take stock of 1 year of Thursday Veggie Day in Ghent. What are the results after 12 months?

- The mayor of the first non-Flemish Belgian city (we're keeping it a secret) will proclaim Thursday Veggie Day in his hometown.

- We're announcing 'Ghent's tastiest Veggie sandwich' ... and we're giving away 350 of them for free!

- We're also presenting two new veggie cookboks:

--- the official Thursday Veggie Day Cookbook by Miki Duerinck and Kristin Leybaert: for every Thursday of the year a tasty recipe based on the seasonal ingredients.

--- the Start to Veggie book by Evy Gruyaert with hints for a greener living.

The cookbooks will be signed by the authors and sold with a discount to whoever commits to participating in Thursday Veggie Day.

- Further on there will be information and tasting booths about all possible alternatives for meat: tofu, seitan, beans, lentils and chickpeas will have no more secrets for the visitors.

- new campaign-material: a comprehensive educational package for schools, an English Veggie Guide to Ghent for tourists and a new Thursday Veggie Day-guide.

- entertainment and music: on the 6th of May vegetables will conquer the Groentenmarkt. People in vegetable-costumes will walk around trying to convince the guests to sign the declaration of engagement. Pure Vida Productionz will take care of the atmosphere with a dj-set.

Practical matters 

Public: Veggie happening on Thursday May 6, 2010, 11h30 - 14h00, on the Groentemarkt, Ghent.

The Press is very welcome on May 6, starting at 11am in 'Het Vleeshuis' (right near the Groentenmarkt). Journalists can discover the new veggie cookbooks and interview the authors. At 11h30 councilman Tom Balthazar will give an overview of 1 year of Thursday Veggie Day. Interviews with mr. Balthazar (city of Ghent) can be taken between 12h and 12h30. Afterwards press can visit hotels, schools, restaurants... participating in the campaign.

We will be able better cater to the needs of non-Dutch speaking journalists if they let us know they are coming (contact below).
A press file is available on request.


Tobias Leenaert, tel. 0032 494/64.69.38,

EVA vzw
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 130
9000 Gent

EVA is a member of the International Vegetarian Union:


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People in vegetable-costumes will walk around trying to convince the guests to sign the declaration of engagement. Pure Vida Productionz will take care of the atmosphere with a dj-set.

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