Mushroom Festival sprouts

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Locals and visitors alike flocked to Madisonville this weekend to experience the famous Texas Mushroom Festival, located in the square and surrounding areas.

Attendants were treated to live entertainment, diverse culinary options and a firsthand look at one-of-a-kind items for sale by the festival’s many vendors.

“We had a record number in attendance,” said Director of Marketing and Tourism as well as the Festival’s Chair Laura Lawrenz. “We are so grateful for our sponsors, volunteers and the City of Madisonville for the support they offer the festival each year to make it a success.”

Vendors lined the square and entertainers performed throughout the event that had something to offer families and individuals of all ages, from the beer garden to the kid zone.

The Festival continues to be a staple in what makes Madisonville tick.

“I’ve lived here my entire life,” said Madisonville local T.J. Douga at the Festival. “There are a lot of fun activities that make for an enjoyable experience. It’s a great tradition to have in our town.”

Many visitors also enjoyed the Festival. Colin Carston from Porter made the trip after he submitted a piece of work in the photo contest.

“I mostly came for the contest but it’s a great setup and a very fun experience,” said Carston. “There was a woman who entered the contest who is from Colorado. It’s definitely cool to see people from all over come together like this in a small town.”

Kerrie Dreher from Fort Collins, Colo. was presented with the Best Mushroom Award in the photo contest. Fred Guthrie from Huntsville was awarded best in show as well as runner up for his works “Colorado Ironhorse” and “Workin’ Man”.

The art contest offered an incentive of $750 to the first-place recipient and $50 apiece for second and third. Best in show was awarded to Doug Unclebach for his work “Golden Trumpet in East Texas Pasture.” Unclebach’s painting “Autumn Woods” was also selected as the contest’s runner up and “Shining Like a New Penny” by Marjorie Horne claimed third place.

There were many other contests to provide an added layer of comradery to the Festival. The Saturday events kicked off with the annual Shiitake 5K Run/Walk prior to the opening ceremonies. Madi Caperton was the overall winner for female runners and Justin Dodson took the title for the male side.

Multiple winners were crowned in the Festival’s auto show. James Moran was awarded best in show for his dark cherry red 1951 Chevy pickup. There were other winners awarded based on the year of their vehicles as well as best paint jobs, best interior and under the hood.

There were many winners from the year’s Festival, but the biggest winners are the citizens of Madisonville. Each year, this event offers more and more traditions and something to look forward to in the future.

For more information from the Festival or to check out the contest winners, check out the Mushroom Festival online.

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