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Ellen! Don't eat that!

Buena Vista King Boletus Festival

By Ellen Jacobson

The Buena Vista King Boletus Festival was started 12 years ago by a local resident, Jim Sanford, who never took “no” for an answer. He first contacted former CMS members, Kris and Terry Philbin, and Ellen Jacobson who said, among oth er things, that Buenie was too dry, no one knows the territory and how in the world will you get 65 people who know nothing about mushrooms to attend a King Boletus Festival in Buena Vista. Jim proved us all wrong and the Festival will celebrate its 13th year in 2007.

Other than learning about mushrooms and having a very good time, the primary purpose of the Festival is to raise money for the Buena Vista Heritage Museum in support of their local projects which have included the restoration of the Turner Farm and help in rebuilding some of the structures in St. Elmo after a damaging fire several years ago.

The Festival begins on Saturday morning at the Community Center with coffee and donuts and an introductory lecture and slide show. After a question and answer period and discussion of the mushrooms on display, we proceed to the Turner Farm, (where there are always city mushrooms), for a picnic lunch. Then it’s off to Cottonwood Pass for some serious mushroom foraying; the forays are led by CMS members and local residents.

We return to the Community Center in the late afternoon for identification and discussion of our finds. In the early evening, we have the opportunity to visit the Heritage Museum for a wine and cheese party and sample homemade wild mushroom soups. On Sunday, shroomers may choose between attending one of several forays or staying at the Community Center for a class in Intermediate mushroom identification. The day ends when
we all gather at the Community Center for a final discussion and identification plus excellent wild mushroom pizza.

The Buena Vista King Boletus Festival has always been a small town’s celebration of wild mushrooms with many members of the community involved and I speak for both students and staff when I say that we all have an educational weekend with a thick frosting of good times and new friends.

The cost for all activities is $65.00 per person.  The dates of this year’s Festival are August 25 and 26.

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