BY DONNA WESTFALL
For the past four years, bandied about have been discussions about hiring an events coordinator. It has never done, and with the economic climate, may not be done in the near future. We’ve seen events like the Crab Races start, stop and end. The Aleutian Goose Festival, same thing. The Lighthouse Quilt Guild held annual shows, and now they’ll be every two years. The Knoll Surf contest is a thing of the past.
For small towns like Crescent City, events can be one of the lifelines to tourist dollars. However, organizing and coordinating an event is very time consuming. One recent event, the Mycological (mushroom) Fair held in Eureka on Sunday, November 18, is an event that could easily be duplicated here.
They had a booth with boxed mushroom kits. Another with mushroom furniture made out of stone. A third contained microscopes for sale. Then another with T-shirts, books and posters for sale. Being that this was my first time at the Fair I thought the display of mushrooms was impressive in the center of the room. Red cards indicated poisonous mushrooms. Green cards indicated non-toxic or edible mushrooms.
One of the other tables contained a demonstration manned by Alissa Allen. She was down from Seattle, Washington and plans to be back in February or March. She uses mushrooms to create dyes. These dyes are then used on yarns and for creating water colors. I asked her if she would consider giving these classes in Crescent City when she returns. She’ll be giving 4 hour classes to teach others in the California Northwest how to duplicate her dyes. Classes will run about $40 for members of mushroom societies, and $60 for non-members. And she will definitely will come to Crescent City if there’s enough interest.
Alissa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She referred me to a book written by Miriam C. Rice called, Mushrooms for Dyes, Paper, Pigments and MycoStix.” In a search of eBay and Amazon.com, I couldn’t find any copies available. Alissa said they were out of print and hard to find.
There are numerous ideas for events, but getting one off the ground is the first hurdle. Then finding enough help to perpetuate it year after year is another hurdle. If all those interested in mushrooms around our area started a Crescent City Mushroom Fair and paired it with dishes to taste along with recipes, who knows? This could be our next event. It’s a great event for the rainy months.