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Mushrooms to fore at new Rockwood fest

Mouthwatering mushrooms will be on the menu when a new and unique festival takes place for the first time ever in Rockwood this month.
On Saturday Sept. 20, the town will host the first Rockwood Mushroom Fest in celebration of the agricultural heritage of the Guelph/Eramosa and North Halton region.
The festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the green and inside St. John’s Anglican Church, and promises to be fun for all ages, a news release said.
Family-owned Eramosa mushroom farm W&T Mushroom Ltd., the province’s largest all-season oyster mushroom producer, is the inspiration for the festival. Featured mushrooms will be highlighted, along with a variety of local produce from the agricultural region surrounding Rockwood, it said.
The food samples will be a highlight of the festival, with a variety of chefs demonstrating their original mushroom recipes for festival goers to sample.
The Rockwood Lions’ Club will also be on hand to serve up special mushroom-enhanced menu items along with the regular fare, and beer, wine and other refreshments will also be offered, the release said.
But the fest will also have some educational and artistic elements to enjoy.
Those in attendance can expect to see displays of many different species of mushrooms, including a living exhibit of mushrooms at various stages of their development.
Michael Warnock of the Mycological Society of Toronto will give a presentation on the rewards of mushroom hunting in Ontario, and naturopath Jenn Hillier will provide an introduction of the nutritional and medicinal qualities of mushrooms.
There will also be an art show in the foyer of the church, featuring mushroom-themed works by regional artists of all ages. Festival goers will get to vote for people’s choice prizes, the release said.
Meanwhile, children’s games, crafts and activities will run non-stop on the green beside an outdoor stage, where folk and country bands will provide musical entertainment throughout the day.
Indoors, the winners of the regional Kiwanis Music Festival will perform throughout the day. As well, there will be a market, where many varieties of mushrooms will be for sale, along with arts and crafts by regional artists and artisans.
There is an entrance fee for the festival and a cost for food tasting. For more information, visit .rockwoodmushroomfest.ca.

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