Festivalgoers to forage for fungi in the Shuswap

Fungi Festival runs Sept. 27 to 29, with events centered at the legion hall

The annual festival dedicated to celebrating and sharing knowledge about all things fungi returns to Sicamous in late September.

Fungi Festival runs from Sept. 27 to 29. As in previous years, the event provides an opportunity to learn from experts about fungi – indoors and in the wild, as well as enjoy good food and live music.

This year’s festival will be held at the Sicamous Legion. Festival organizer Deb Heap said the legion is a good location for the festival as it will allow for food and drinks to be served downstairs and on the newly-paved patio area outside, and displays to be set up on the wheelchair-accessible second floor.

Organizers are trying to set up a market on the Friday night of the festival for local vendors to show off their wares.

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Heap added that local mushroom expert Doug Airey has been out scouting for locations for the guided hikes, which will show off the fungi growing in the woods near Sicamous.

“Because of mother nature they’re a little different each year,” Heap said of the hikes.

“They’ve got to be quite nimble about these things and really do their homework on deciding where they’re going to go. They’re good at that.”

Along with the long hikes, Mycologist Paul Kroeger will be leading a shorter walk around Sicamous showing off places with mushrooms and also providing interesting information on ecology and local history.

Heap said the format for the guided hikes and the festival in general hasn’t changed much compared to previous years; the reception to the event has been positive enough that no change was needed.

“I’ve never had any complaints. In terms of how we organize it, people seem to always be quite positive,” she said.

“I’ve had people come back two or three years in a row and they love it every time.”

Festival attendees can expect food demonstrations and also presentations from experts with a wealth of information on topics surrounding fungi.

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Heap said the magic mushroom presentation is always well attended, and discussions on edible and medicinal mushrooms can also be expected. She said some of the experts are very well travelled and may be sharing information on fungal life in places like the Amazon rainforest

Heap said she thinks the last weekend of September, during which the Lewiston Ultra and the grand opening of the heritage trail are also scheduled, will be a showcase of fall fun in the Shuswap.

Tickets to the festival are available through eventbrite and the festival’s Facebook page.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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