Hawks Prairie Rotary's 4th Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival  held at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey the week end of July 23-24, 2011 was a huge success.  Bouyed by sun and temperatures not seen this summer, the Festival had close to 8,000 visitors sampling all kinds mushroom delights and taking in the expanded Kid's Zone, wares and services  of over 50 exhibitors and crafters.  Besides Ciscoe Morris from KIRO, visitors also had many chances to enjoy live presentations by chefs and educational speakers as well as ive entertainment on our two main stages.


Many of this year's visitors were families who brought young children and in addition to Ronald Mcdonald, Captain Bill and his Pirates, the Balloon Guy, many stage acts including a Pinata Smash. Ttwo new  attractions were a live alpaca petting area, and of course the big hit, "Mr. Tow Mater" te replica truck character from the popular recent movie Cars 2.  This year's Festival featured more food vendors and the popular "Shroom Fest" where 4 restaurants offered many mushroom delicaces inclduing mushroom soup and mushroom ice cream.  The Red Wind Casino swept the competition winning all three People's Choice Awards, a first in Festival history.  Ciscoe Morris drew a large crowd as usual on Sunday morning as did the many chef's who put on cooking demonstrations including Chef Dan Thiessen and Chef Amadeus.

Hawk's Prairie Rotarians sold over 300 cases of mushrooms.   This year' festival was improved with more parking (500 spaces) provided at the Washington Land Yacht Harbor and was serviced with two free shuttle busses.  Also, better security was provided by new fencing stanchions surrounding the entire perimeter.  The new website (pnwmushroomfest.com) was a hit, attracting over 369 friends and preselling almost two of the popular Ostrom Farms Tours for which two addtional tours were made available by Ostroms.

The  City of Lacey and Ostrom's Farms were major supporters for the 4th year in a row.  Over 2/3 of Hawks Praiirie Rotary Club members voluntered in some way for this year's festival, many who worked all three days including set-up.  Net proceeds are expected to be close to revised budget estimates and they represent the major fund raiser for HPR to support it's current budget which will enable many of its charitable programs and activities supporting and building our local community.

RANDY LUKE served as the 2011 Mushrom Festival Chair, aided by Co-chairs COREY LOPARDI and JOHN SKEEN.



07-23-2011  Saturday at the 4th Mushroom Festival at the RAC