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Salmon, Mushroom Fest celebrates resources

20th annual event runs this weekend at Mt. Hood Village
by: photos courtesy of MICHAEL P. JONES/ Cascade Geographic Society The Oregon Mycological Society hosts a table of poisonous and nonpoisonous mushrooms during the two-day festival.

Michael P. Jones of the Cascade Geographic Society created the Salmon and Mushroom Festival 20 years ago to celebrate these resources and educate the public about them.

The free, family-oriented festival returns to Mt. Hood Village, 65000 E. Highway 26, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

'Two of the Northwest's greatest bounties are the salmon and wild mushrooms, which are the honored celebrities at this festival,' Jones wrote on his website.

Highlights of the event will include a salmon bake, habitat walk, scarecrow-making contest, and Sasquatch talk. This year, Jones has added the Mount Hood Flute Festival to the line-up, too.

Jones said the salmon bake, orchestrated by a family from Warm Springs, is a popular mainstay. Rounding out the food spread is a trailer with hot dogs, buffalo burgers and skewers. Organizers also offer huckleberry products including jam, syrup and coffee.

On the salmon habitat walk, attendees see salmon spawning in the river. 'The key to getting salmon is having a good habitat,' Jones said.

Back in popular demand is the scarecrow-making contest. The geographic society provides clothing and stuffing, which are recycled each year.

Up to 25 children, adults and families assemble the scarecrows and compete for prizes of huckleberry products during the extravaganza.

'You can't have an autumn without scarecrows,' Jones said.

Event attendees inquired about the Sasquatch talk several years ago, and Foster Kalama, a flute player, will serve as this year's storyteller.

'They're not just old stories,' Jones said. 'They're very serious about this. As a historian, I have learned that whether or not you believe it, you treat it with respect. People will always come back and bring you more information.'

The Oregon Mycological Festival will also be onsite, offering a fresh mushroom exhibit, mushroom identification site and an opportunity to speak with experts.

Arts and crafts vendors will line the grounds with unique gifts.

Performances include the Quartz Creek Drum and Dance Group of Warm Springs from 1-2 p.m. and Ko-Na Foster Kalama from 6-7:30 p.m. Saturday. Throughout the rest of the days, The Mount Hood Flute Festival will keep the music flowing with Native American tunes.

The Cascade Geographic Society is an educational nonprofit staffed by volunteers who believe in the preservation of Oregon history and hands-on education.

If you go

WHAT: Salmon and Mushroom Festival.

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 1-2.

WHERE: Mt. Hood Village, 65000 E. Highway 26.

HOURS: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

INFO: 503-622-4798 or cgsstore.tripod.com/index.html