The 15th annual Lake Cowichan Salmon and Mushroom Festival happens on Saturday and Sunday at the Lake Cowichan Centennial Hall.
This year’s festival, open from 10-4 on both days, includes local arts and crafts, baked goods, mushroom talks, mushroom identification, cooking demonstrations and a menu full of delicious tidbits. The ever-popular Sunday field trips (participants are encouraged to come early for these) will be led by mushroom experts Ingeborg Woodsworth, David Tamblin and Jeff Hutjens. Registration for the field trips is required and donations are encouraged.
Woodsworth, who puts the festival on, says that in a good wet year, there are normally around 78 genuses of mushrooms identified.
“After a dry year such as this one, we’ll get 50 hopefully,” says Woodsworth.
She has also challenged mushrooms lovers from the south island and even the mainland to bring mushrooms to identify this year.
New to the festival is the fish painting. There will be fish on display (and on ice!) for adults and children to create their own likeness, inspired by larger-than-life fish painted by artists in the area.
Music upstairs in the hall will be provided this year by the former high school principal and his band. Downstairs listeners will be serenaded by the strolling minstrel.
This year’s festival is especially lucky to be opened by a chief from one of the local First Nations tribes.
Admission to the festival is $2 for adults. Children under 12 are free. For more information, visit salmonmushroomfestival.com.