SANTA CRUZ -- What fun to celebrate fungus! Santa Cruz reaches out to millions of visitors each year with its famous boardwalk, fresh seafood and coastal beaches but for those who are looking for a chance to celebrate the fun of fungus, this seaside community aims to please for one weekend in January.
Sponsored in association with The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, the 34th annual Fungus Fair will be Jan. 12-13 in downtown Santa Cruz and will offer every little thing you ever wanted to know about our little spore friend, the mushroom.
The fair, which began in 1975, features hundreds and hundreds of species of fungi and presents them in unusual ways planned to please the palate and to perhaps heal what ails you.
Demonstrations and speakers showcasing the medicinal benefits of mushrooms will be on hand. Presentations on the perfect way to cook and serve mushrooms will also be offered. The weekend-long event has delighted past fair guests with delicacies such as cheesecake with mushroom glaze, and tangy Thai soup with wild mushrooms. For the young ones, the fair hosts a special Kids' Room, where activities include clay mushroom building and face painting.
If finding fantastic things to do with fungus sounds like fun, go wild and head over to the Fungus Fair and say hi to a shiitake, ogle at an Oyster, pass time with a Portobello or mingle with a Maitake.
WHERE: Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center Street, Santa Cruz
WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 12-13, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
COST: Adults, $6; Seniors, $4; under 12, free
GETTING THERE: From the Central Valley, take the Altamont Pass (Highway 580) west of Tracy toward San Francisco. In Pleasanton-Dublin, take Interstate 680 south. (In San Jose, it becomes Interstate 280.) In southwest San Jose, take Highway 17 toward Santa Cruz. In Santa Cruz take Highway 1 north toward Half Moon Bay. Make a left onto Chestnut Street and then a left onto Laurel Street. Continue to Center.
DRIVE TIME: 2 hours, 3 minutes (Mapquest)
MORE INFORMATION: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History at 831-420-6115 or online at www.santacruzmuseums.org
Bee assistant librarian Karen Aiello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2392.