Editors’ note: The following is by new Rocky Mountain Food Report contributor JL Fields. She is a Colorado Springs vegan-lifestyle coach and the last word on all things vegan. You can find more on her website, in the Gazette or on her radio show Easy Vegan.

Though World Vegan Day is November 1, Colorado Springs will be celebrating a few days early. But first, a little backstory.

In August, I began producing and hosting a weekly radio show, Easy Vegan, for KCMJ. It’s a nonprofit radio station here in the Springs that currently broadcasts online from the Tim Gill Center for the Public Media and will soon be found on your dial at 93.9 FM.

KCMJ board members suggested that I do a live show highlighting the vegan community, and I never turn down the opportunity to throw a party.

On October 30, KCMJ and I are throwing a huge celebration — featuring community groups, local restaurants, and fabulous vegan prizes — for local vegans, vegetarians, veg-curious, and veg-friendly community members. The ticket price ($5 in advance; $7 at the door) benefits KCMJ.

Ticket holders get one free entry into a drawing with prizes valued at nearly $500:

• a GUNAS luxury unisex vegan briefcase

• A NOOCH Vegan Market basket of vegan groceries

• a VeganEssentials.com gift certificate for $75

• a one-year subscription to VegNews

• a $50 gift certificate from the Compassionate Closet

The prizes are reason enough to come but the food, oh the food:

• Adam’s Mountain Café’s East Indian samosas with cilantro chutney and spicy tomato chutney

• The Burrowing Owl’s cheesy beans and chips

•Coquette’s Bistro and Bakery’s gluten-free chocolate cupcakes

• McCabe’s Tavern’s avocado tacos

• Chef Stevie Winsborrow’s raw pecan tartlets and apple cider donut holes

Nourish Organic Juice and Ola Juice Bar will be serving up healthy fare and Downtown Fine Spirits and Wine is donating vegan wine. Enjoy food, wine and meet representatives from the Colorado Springs Vegan & Vegetarian Group, the Vegan Society of Colorado Springs, and VegFest Colorado.

The event — 6 to 8 p.m. at the Tim Gill Center for Public Media — will include a live broadcast from 6:30 to 7 p.m..  Find more information here, and purchase advance tickets here.

Not vegan? Not a problem. This event is about food and fun for everyone.