Salmon, Mushroom and Bigfoot festival will share culture and folklore with attendees

COURTESY PHOTO - Dancers from the Warm Spring Native American tribe are among those who provide entertainment at the Mount Hood Salmon, Mushroom and Bigfoot Festival in Welches.

Stories of Sasquatch and harvests of salmon and mushrooms abound in the Pacific Northwest, and an upcoming event will allow participants to learn about each of them.

The 28th annual Salmon, Mushroom and Bigfoot Festival, organized by the Cascade Geographic Society, is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22, at 73341 E. Highway 26. Admission is free.

"It takes place in autumn, and autumn is a time for great harvest," said Michael Jones, a member of the Cascade Geographic Society. "We bring together two very important foods in the region — salmon and mushrooms."

Bigfoot plays an important role in the festival, as well.

"We provide a Native American perspective on Sasquatch," he said, noting that many Native American tribes believe the creature has existed for many years. "We didn't start out with Sasquatch, but about 10 years ago, more and more people wanted to know."

Discussions also focus on figures from Native American mythology, including the Coyote and the Thunderbird. Tribes in attendance will be Warm Springs, Cascade, Klickitat/Cascade and Clackamas.

Some stories shared at the festival will involve audience participation.

"People end up having a really good time. Adults shed their inhibitions," he said.

The festival will also feature salmon habitat walks, a salmon bake, mushroom identification by the Oregon Mycological Society and discussions on proper mushroom picking techniques.

Additionally, festival attendees can connect with a variety of merchants.

"It's a good time for people to buy Christmas presents from our vendors," Jones said, noting that vendors will sell items like Bigfoot notebooks, history books and hand-beaded products.

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