Greetings! We are delighted to announce that the 33rd annual Telluride Mushroom Festival, sponsored by the Telluride Institute, will be held from Saturday August 16 through Tuesday August 19. Pre-festival workshops and an early-bird walk will also be held on August 15. Set in the beautiful San Juan Mountains, the Telluride Mushroom Festival offers something for everyone, from guided forays in the San Juan mountains, to presentations on mushroom cultivation, anthropology, remediation, and significant research. This year’s festival very consciously looks at the role of mushrooms across a broad spectrum of human life. Festival activities include everything from the ever-popular (and sometimes outrageous) mushroom costume parade, to sessions for the mushroom gourmet, to discussions about how recent scientific research has led to exciting new developments in the fields of behavioral pharmacology, oncology, and other areas of human health and medicine.
This year also sees the inception of the Telluride Institute Voucher Program science tent, overseen by internationally renowned mycologist John Holliday, and distinguished author of The Audubon Guide to Mushrooms, Gary Lincoff. Funded by Aloha Medicinals, the goal of this program is to educate festival participants in the identification and discovery of mushrooms, some of which might be new to science. Festival participants will be invited to bring fungi samples to the Voucher Program science tent. The specimens will be packaged and sent off for DNA analysis as part of an on-going project to identify fungi of the Telluride area. Who knows which lucky foray member will be responsible for finding a previously undescribed species!
The broad array of festival topics is also highlighted through the many workshops and guest lectures. The keynote speaker, author Langdon Cook, is a writer, instructor, and lecturer on wild foods and how to find them. His latest book, The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America, won the 2014 Pacific Northwest Book Award. This remarkable book brings out the mycophile in all of us by showing how mushroom foraging can revitalize our relationship with the natural world. Mycologists Tradd Cotter and Ron Spinosa will lead workshops on the cutting edge subject of mycoremediation — the use of fungi to clean up a polluted environment. They will also show how to use toilet paper and kitty litter to grow mushrooms at home, and discuss how growing one’s own mushrooms can improve nutrition and reduce poverty in the U.S.
On new topics in medicine, Robert Rogers, a leading expert on medicinal fungi, will discuss how mushrooms can improve your health. Biotechology researcher, Dr. Ayman Daba, will discuss the use of mushrooms to reverse cancerous tumors by boosting the host’s immune system. And, Maggie Klinedinst, a senior program coordinator in Behavioral Pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University, will discuss research on the use of mushrooms in developing medications for the treatment of mental disorders.
On the lighter, and more colorful, side of things mycologist and fiber artist Alissa Allen will offer a workshop on the process of extracting brilliantly colored dyes from mushroom specimens and using those dyes to color wool and silk. (Each workshop will be limited to 20 participants, so book early!)
Legendary mushroom photographer, Taylor Lockwood, will screen his most recent film and offer tips for all on how to improve your own mushroom photography. And, Lawrence Millman will give a presentation on ethnomycology, in which he talks about (among other things) how certain Native peoples use fungi to get rid of evil spirits.
The connoisseur in all of us will be delighted as the Wilkinson Public Library hosts a Mushroom Cook-Off street party on Saturday, August 16. Chefs from around the country will compete for the “People’s Choice Award,” the “Judges’ Choice Award,” and the much-coveted “Mushroom Cap” by creating delectable and inventive wild mushroom dishes. Everyone gets to watch the chefs in action, sample their dishes, and vote for their favorites! The Cook-Off will also feature mushroom-infused beer, live music, vendors, and a grand tasting.
As always, the very popular Telluride Mushroom Festival Parade will be a lively celebration of all things fungal. Led by poet laureate and colorful 60s luminary Art Goodtimes, mushroom enthusiasts will parade down Main Street dressed in extravagant mushroom-themed costumes. Needless to say, there will be a contest for the best (craziest?) mushroom costume.
We welcome you to join us for this wonderful, fun, and surprisingly serious look at the world of fungi. As Matt Kostalek, vice president of Aloha Medicinals has noted, where else can you see “hundreds of festival participants dressed as mushrooms in the epic annual costume parade,” while also having the opportunity “to learn about and participate in serious science taking place beneath a tent nearby.” Join us to explore the Kingdom of Fungi in all its surprising manifestations! This year’s Mushroom Festival is expected to sell out. Please reserve your festival pass soon. Children under age 12 are FREE, and a 15% discount on lodging is available through Telluride Alpine Lodging.
Full event passes are available at telluridemushroomfest.org or by mail at MUSHROOM 2014 c/o Telluride Institute, P.O. Box 1770, Telluride CO, 81435.
For festival information, please visit us on the web, or email email@example.com
What is Mushroom Festival? The 33rd Annual Mushroom Festival is the world’s largest mushroom conference welcoming newbies and professional mycologists. The 4-day event features lectures, “The Telluride Mushroom Festival is the only event of its kind in North America,” says author-mycologist Lawrence Millman, a presenter at this year’s Festival. “It provides the Big Picture for mushrooms — what they’re doing in nature, and how humans can use them beneficially.”