After a long, cold winter, the warmer, but still damp, weather brings out avid morel hunters. These hunters are itching to trek through their secretive spots, hoping for a bumper crop of the elusive mushrooms.
The 11th annual Spores N’ More Mushroom Festival, set for April 18-19, is expected to be better than in recent years. In 2012, mushrooms made an early appearance and were nearly non-existent for the hunt. In 2013, cooler weather hampered the growth and the hunt was cancelled.
“This year may have a better outlook,” said Shelby County Tourism Office director Freddie Fry. “We have the moisture. We just need a few days of warmer weather. But with the other activities planned, hopefully people will have enough fun.”
Activities are planned in Findlay, Shelbyville, Sullivan and Windsor, starting with the kick-off dinner at the Findlay American Legion at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 18.
Speakers for the dinner are Andy Miller and Dr. Andrew Methuen on false morels.
“They worked on a paper together on false morels. Miller is an authority with the Illinois Natural History Survey,” said Gene Davis of Heartland RC&D.
Registration for the mushroom hunt will be held from 6:30 - 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 19, at Wyman Park in Sullivan. The hunt will take participants to an undisclosed location at 8:45 a.m.
The Boy Scouts will be serving a pancake and sausage breakfast at the American Legion in Sullivan from 6:30 to 10 a.m. Tickets are $8.
A biscuit and gravy breakfast will also be served at the Christian Church basement in Findlay from 7-9 a.m. Proceeds from the breakfast will go to the Community Garden project sponsored by F.L.I.P.
Saturday activities in Windsor include sales of perennial plants and baked goods, portabello mushroom sandwiches and shies kabobs on Maine Street beginning at 8:30 a.m. Foods stands and crafts will be open at the Red Barn, 220 S. Maple, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.