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Annual gathering organized by the Estacada Fungus Association brings mycology community to town

PMG PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Festival of the Fungus attendees study the many mushrooms on display at the gathering.

Attendees of a recent event in Estacada didn't have to dig far to get the dirt on mushrooms.

The annual Estacada Festival of the Fungus took place Saturday, Nov. 2, at Estacada High School. Hosted by the Estacada Fungus Association, the gathering connected mycology enthusiasts with everything from an enormous display of mushrooms to vendors selling items like mushroom tarot cards.

As attendees admired a display featuring hundreds of local mushrooms that volunteers had foraged for several days earlier, culinary students from Timber Lake Job created mushroom dishes, members of the Oregon Mycological Society identified mushrooms and children worked on art projects. There also were raffle drawings, truffle hunting demonstrations and guest speakers.

PMG PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Timber Lake Job Corps culinary students prepare a mushroom dish at the Estacada Festival of the Fungus.

Around town, several restaurants offered special mushroom-related dishes to complement the efforts of the festival.

Milo McIver State Park Ranger Mark Shaw noted that the event provided many educational opportunities.

"There are long time mushroom enthusiasts and newer people. It's awesome to see new people rub shoulders with the more seasoned ones," he said.

Chris Adams of Corvidopolis, who sold a variety of mushroom related apparel, stickers and tarot cards, appreciated the amount of specimens at the event.

"I feel like I've seen most of the regional mushrooms, but there's always something new," he said. "I'm pretty obsessed with mushrooms. (My work) is a fusion between scientific accuracy and a 60's counterculture weirdness."

Those involved with the event appreciate the variety of people it brings to Estacada.

"It's not just local people. Word gets out," said Connie Redmond, one of the event's organizers. "It's exciting for people to see what Estacada has."

PMG PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Festival of the Fungus attendees admire specimens on display at the annual event.

PMG PHOTO: EMILY LINDSTRAND - Mushroom identification was one activity at the Festival of the Fungus.

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