Mushroom Fest kicks off this weekend

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The Texas Mushroom Festival is arguably Madisonville’s biggest event of the year, and I for one, am looking forward to a day of good weather and free entertainment.

I grew up going to small-town festivals such as the Peanut Festival in Grapeland (about 20 years later I got to meet a reigning Peanut Queen, and it was the highlight of my life to date).

Inevitably we find things to complain about at these events. It’s too hot, it’s too rainy, the turkey leg on a stick costs too much and the selection of beaded Hobby Lobby jewelry was dismal.

Get over it. It’s free. It’s a great opportunity to socialize with other members of the community and to draw tourism to our great little city, which brings economic development, tax dollars, new businesses and a better place to live, work and play.

The organizers literally meet year-round to put this thing together. They don’t take it lightly, and they spend countless unpaid hours to make it bigger and better every year.

My hat is off to Donna Isaacs, Dolores Williams, Camilla Viator and the dozens of others who work on the festival each year. It’s a privilege to get to attend and show out-of-towners what a great community we have.

I’ve heard stories of residents who have traveled from out of town to attend the Mushroom Festival and ended up moving here permanently because they loved the vibrancy, friendliness and good things we have to offer. 

In addition to the auto showcase, cooking demonstrations and grape stomping, there are also myriad talented musicians, art and photo contests and a 5K shiitake race for those who don't mind getting out of bed at the crack of dawn.

The Mushroom Festival really is a treasure for our local community – and everyone should not only plan to attend but also invite their friends and loved ones from out of town. It’s one of those things that makes Madisonville special, and even though it might sometimes seem like a headache to deal with increased traffic and crowds around the square, we’re blessed that people want to spend their weekend in the city we call home.  

April Towery is the editor of The Meteor. She can be reached at (936) 348-3505 or editor@madisonvillemeteor.com

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