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Picture-perfect weather draws thousands to Mushroom Festival

Gage Smith pedaled 20 feet, 7 inches, good enough for second place in his age group in Saturday’s Mushroom Festival kids’ tractor pull. AG-Power, the organizer, said there were more entries this year than previous years. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

Gage Smith pedaled 20 feet, 7 inches, good enough for second place in his age group in Saturday’s Mushroom Festival kids’ tractor pull. AG-Power, the organizer, said there were more entries this year than previous years. (Photo by David Knopf/Richmond News)

The tantalizing aroma of chicken and ribs wafted over the festival crowd Saturday as John W. Carter Lodge members Russ Allen and Charles Buford opened the smoker and flipped the grilling meat.

The fragrant clouds of smoke mushrooming from the grill only added to a beautiful day where everything – from the weather to large morel mushrooms – seemed to cooperate and make for a fun day.

• • •

Last year’s Mushroom Festival was memorable, unfortunately for the wrong reasons. Workers at Greek to Me food booth were using kitchen utensils as snow scrapers when a freak winter snow storm moved in, which made the festival look more like an winter carnival and was the first full-fledge snowfall in May since 1907.

“Welcome to Florida,” joked Greek to Me owner Demetri Sakellariadis last year.

But this year, festival sponsors, Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce, got one of its own days – a “chamber of commerce day” with bright blues skies and relatively warm weather. By 8:15 a.m. Friday, parking lots were already full surrounding Richmond square.

Saturday’s weather was even better – some saying a little too hot – but after last year, who s going to complain too loud.

 

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