FILE PHOTO - A variety of mushrooms will be on display at the upcoming Estacada Festival of the Fungus. Pictured are amanita muscaria and flavivolvata at last year's event.Want to get the dirt on mushrooms?

If so, add the fifth-annual Estacada Festival of the Fungus to your calendar. The event is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in the Estacada High School Commons.

The family-friendly event will feature a large display of locally found mushrooms, opportunities for mushroom identification, an art show and a variety of vendors and demonstrations.

There will be many chances to have fun with fungus.

Educational demonstrations will focus on mushroom cleaning, fermentation and truffle hunting dogs, and vendors will sell mushroom cultivation kits, books, photography and other fungus-related items.

While perusing through displays of locally found fungus, participants can bring their own mushrooms in for identification and hear from representatives from U.S. Forest Service and Oregon State Parks to explain mushroom hunting regulations for their areas.

Around town, a variety of restaurants will serve mushroom-themed dishes in celebration of the festival.

The event was organized by a dedicated group of Estacada volunteers and mushroom enthusiasts, and earlier this year, they formed the Estacada Fungus Association in order to focus on mycology all year long.

Steve Schmidt, president of the association, says he is excited about the group’s collaboration with other local organizations, including the Estacada School District.

He’s pleased that this year’s festival is being held at the high school. Students with identification will receive free admission to the event.

“We’re excited to have partnered with the school district,” he said. “In the future, we hope to collaborate with (the high school’s) science department to include mycology in the curriculum.”

Members of the group also hope to form partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service in order to fulfill their goal of education and research.

Schmidt encourages anyone interested to stop by the festival. He believes there’s a lot to learn about mushrooms.

“They aren’t plants, animals or vegetables,” he said. “They’re a kingdom of their own. (The festival) is a great place to learn all about them.”

Stop by the Festival of the Fungus

The event is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in the Estacada High School Commons, 355 Northeast Sixth Ave. Admission is $5 for those age 12 and older, and students in the Estacada School District with identification will receive free admission.

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