The 32nd Annual Mushroom Festival is Sept. 9, 10

The mushroom takes center stage in Kennett Square for its 32nd annual Mushroom Festival, Sept. 9 and 10. From food to art to music to contests, there’s mushrooms galore and a whole lot more.

Add in the community parade with dining and dancing in the streets and an old fashioned carnival opening on Friday evening, Sept. 8, and there’s a whole weekend of fun in Kennett Square.

Opening the festival on Saturday is the amateur Mushroom Cook-Off in the special events tent. This year’s theme: Mushrooms and Chicken. Six finalists will cook their original recipe and one will win 2017s $500 first place prize, and the opportunity to compete in the World Food Championships.

Saturday also features the Antique and Classic Car Show with unique rides from across the region. This year’s feature car is Jungle Jim Lieberman’s ’73 Vega Funny Car.

At 3 p.m. on Saturday, it is the National Fried Mushroom Eating Championship. Contestants vie for this year's title of eating the most fried mushrooms in eight minutes. The world record remains at 11.5 pounds, set in 2014.  The contestant who devours the most of Buona Food's original fried breaded mushrooms in eight minutes will win a $1000 prize.

Last year a new amateur/local champion record was set at 4 pounds. Will these records hold? Or will a new world champion be crowned? All are invited to cheer our contestants as they devour unbelievable amounts of crunchy mouth-watering fried breaded mushrooms.

Once the street fair closes on Saturday evening, the special events tent opens for a special 10,000 Maniacs concert. Tickets, if still available, may be purchased through The Kennett Flash’s website.

Start Sunday morning at the Mushroom Run and Fun Walk. The course goes along the Red Clay Creek and past some mushroom houses. The race kicks-off at 8:30 a.m. in front of Kennett High School.

The Soup and Wine event takes center stage at 11 am as guests vote for the best mushroom soup in the region and sample the area’s local wines.

Mushroom judging in the growers’ exhibit starts at noon and the mushrooms are sold starting about 1:30 pm.

Festival favorite events returning for 2017 include the growers’ exhibit, cooking demonstrations, mushroom soup at the Masonic Lodge, great acts on the children’s stage, the Cute-as-a-Button (Mushroom) Baby photo contest, live music on the community stage, and the painted mushroom silent auction.

The street fair features nearly 250 vendors with lots of ways to enjoy mushrooms from mushroom soup to grilled portabellas, to wraps and ravioli, to mushroom ice cream. On the shopping side, there are mushroom-inspired sculptures, mushroom jewelry, clothing and more.

The Mushroom Festival is a great place to take home some of the freshest mushrooms around. Stop by the mushroom sales tent and place your order anytime then pick up your mushrooms from the refrigerated trucks near the exits on your way home.

Admission is $3 for everyone 12 and up. All proceeds benefit local and regional non-profit organizations through the Mushroom Festival Grant program. This year local organizations received $86,100 in grants to help our diverse community.

Please note pets are not allowed at the festival.

Check out the official Mushroom Festival website at www.mushroomfestival.org for an up-to-date listing of everything that’s happening.

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