Mushroom festival planning set

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The Texas Mushroom Festival, set for Oct. 13, is hoping to be the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes.

Festival Chairman Steve Carter said he has very high expectations for the festival this year.

“Our committee and events chairs have worked extremely hard and have committed to make this a great festival,” he said. “As always, our wonderful sponsors have been very supportive as have our friends at both the city and the county.”

That sentiment was a different thing on March 6 when the committee voted to cancel this year’s festival, citing a lack of community involvement and volunteers.

However, a week and a social media campaign later, committee volunteers signed up, and the festival was reinstated.

“We did get off to a little bit of a slow start with planning and such but recovered nicely,” Carter said.

Sponsorship remains strong, Carter said, and many companies are moving to support non-profit organizations only, as those types of sponsorships can be tax-deductible.

“We are not currently that type of non-profit, but have reached out to some CPAs that can change our classification.,” he said. “We have several sponsors that are not too concerned with that, but we have lost a few. Fortunately, new ones have come aboard.”

Carter said the initial response from the vendor community also started a little slower, but has picked up very well.

“Sometimes they wait until the last minute, so we'll just have to wait and see, but I'm confi-dent that we will have plenty of support on festival day,” he said.

The Gala Dinner, traditionally the start of the festival, gets under way at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, with a champagne social, and dinner begins at 7:30 p.m., featuring several courses with a mushroom theme, and wine pairings for each.

The Shiitake 5K Run/Walk takes off at 8:30 a.m., with winners receiving awards at 9:45, and the festival opens on the Square at 10 a.m.

More information can be found at texasmushroomfestival.com.

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