Festival attendees are crazy about mushrooms
The Estacada Festival of the Fungus dished out the dirt on mushrooms last weekend.
The eighth annual festival, organized by the Estacada Fungus Association, took place Saturday, Nov. 3, at Estacada High School, and connected participants with mushroom identification, demonstrations featuring truffle dogs and mushroom fermenting, children's activities, vendors and a display highlighting numerous fungi from the area.
Vendors sold fungus-inspired art, gourmet mushrooms and mushroom-infused cider and hot chocolate. Representatives from Oregon State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service were also present.
Festival attendees enjoyed many aspects of the event.
"It's all overwhelmingly wonderful. I could spend a few days here," said Vicki Nealand, noting that she was drawn to the mushroom photography. "I can share (photos) easily for a long time."
Megan Hughes appreciated the festival's fungus display.
"They're all so fresh and so cool. I appreciate the whole presentation and variety, and the quality is amazing," she said.
Linanda Danforth also liked the variety of mushrooms featured at the festival.
"They're beautiful. I love how they're laid out," she said.
Bruce Webb enjoyed looking at amanitas, the well-known red fungi.
"I've always loved the folklore behind them. They're a really iconic mushroom," he said.
Mollie Shibley thought the cat's tongue mushrooms — a small, white, fungus — looked interesting.
Artist Terra Stenzel sold small sculpted mushrooms during the event.
"Mushrooms are pretty magical," she said, discussing her inspiration.
She enjoyed seeing the numerous fungi on display.
"There are so many mushrooms I've never seen before. (The festival) is a nice opportunity," she said.
Valerie Nguyen of Fungi for the People, a farm in Westfir, Ore., appreciated the festival's friendly atmosphere.
"I love meeting new folks and seeing what (mushrooms) people are finding," she said.
Connie Redmond, one of the event's organizers, appreciated that all of the mushrooms were found nearby.
"The most amazing thing is the variety of mushrooms surrounding Estacada. There's all of this natural wonder around us," she said.