FUN AND FUNGUS COLLIDE AT ANNUAL FESTIVAL AND SALE.
You can't spell fungus without f-u-n, and fun is what Mount Pisgah Arboretum's annual Mushroom Festival and Plant Sale is all about.
Fun as in music, good eats, the area's scariest and funniest scarecrows, craft vendors, guided hikes, hayrides, cider-pressing demonstrations, raffles and a booth dedicated to children's activities.
Plus, of course, an opportunity to learn about the fabulous array of fungi to be found in Western Oregon.
More than 350 specimens of mushrooms - from Amanita to Xylaria - are expected to be on display Sunday at the 27th annual Mushroom Festival and Plant Sale. Expert fungal fanatics will be on hand to help identify mushrooms brought in by members of the public.
Event hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is by donation, with a suggested rate of $5 per person or $10 per family. Show-goers are asked to leave their dogs at home.
Co-sponsored by the Cascade Mycological Society and Lane Community College, the Eugene show is the Arboretum's largest fundraising event of the year.
It also is one of the largest mushroom festivals on the West Coast.
"Last year we tied for the second-highest number of mushroom varieties we've ever had on display - 349 different species," said Bruce Newhouse of the Mycological Society.
With weather conditions leading up to the show similar to 2007, Newhouse said he expects a similar variety this year.
Meanwhile, the plant sale portion of the event provides an opportunity to purchase potted native plants from the arboretum or from commercial growers' booths at the sale. Dried floral wreaths and other items will also be sold.
There is still time to enter the popular scarecrow contest, but you have to hurry. The registration deadline is Wednesday.
Contestants build their scarecrows at home (use any material except invasive plants), and set them up in the Arboretum's Scarecrow Alley on Saturday. On Sunday, festival visitors vote for Funniest, Most Original, Most Likely to Scare a Crow, Most Beautiful, Best Youth Entry and Best Overall.
The $10 registration fee includes free family admission for five. Registration details: (541) 747-1504 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mount Pisgah Arboretum is located off Seavey Loop Road southeast of Eugene. Take exit 189 off Interstate 5. There is ample parking available inside the park, with shuttles from a remote overflow lot. Arboretum officials request visitors not park along the shoulders of Seavey Loop Road.