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GRAFTON - Raging Rivers invites community members to join them for their fourth annual Great Mushroom Hunt.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, 2024, attendees can enjoy vendors, a hiring fair, a car cruise and a competition to find the most morel mushrooms. Malia and Jessie, two representatives from Raging Rivers, said there are over 500 attendees already registered. They noted that the day will be a chance to see Raging Rivers in a new light while competing in the hunt.

“We’re excited to see everybody going to be there. It’s going to be a fun time,” Malia said. “It might be a little late in the season, but it’s a good chance to just go out, explore the woods, and see the property.”

The hunt itself starts at 11 a.m. and is completely free. There will be prizes for whoever brings in the most mushrooms, the biggest mushroom and the smallest mushroom. Prizes include a stay in a St. Louis hotel, gift cards to local businesses, and, of course, Raging Rivers tickets. Children can also hunt for gnomes, and winners will receive candy.

Jessie explained that the Great Mushroom Hunt has grown a lot from previous years. They already have 34 vendors signed up, and they expect more vendors to register by April 17 to secure their spot at the festival. It costs $65 to register as a vendor, and all vendors receive two Raging Rivers tickets.

“There are some vendors that are just coming to talk about their business, and we have others coming in to sell their items that they have created,” Jessie said. “There’s a pretty good variety this year, and a couple of food trucks as well.”

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The car cruise is a new addition to the Great Mushroom Hunt. Jessie and Malia are looking forward to seeing which cars make it to Raging Rivers that day.

“We have been in touch with a couple of different groups around the Riverbend area,” Malia shared. “Instead of having a full-blown car show, because it is the first year we’re trying to showcase some cars, we’re just going to have them come by, cruise through a little bit and then head out for the day.”

Kids might also enjoy hanging out with the Mississippi Monster, the Raging Rivers mascot. Malia warns that he is shy, but always eager to meet new friends and pose for a picture.

The Great Mushroom Hunt also operates as a hiring fair, with open interviews during the event. Malia and Jessie encourage people who are interested in a job at Raging Rivers to simply come to the event and speak with an employee. They are looking to fill several positions, including food service, lifeguard and work crew roles.

Both women are excited for April 20. They hope to welcome many community members to Raging Rivers that day to check out the park and enjoy the vendor fair and Great Mushroom Hunt.

“People get to see a side of the park they’ve never gotten to see before,” Malia added. “It’s really cool to just see all these people coming through, to see who’s really adamant about all these mushrooms and everything, getting to see people enjoy coming to an event like this.”

For more information about the Raging Rivers Great Mushroom Hunt, including how to register online, visit RagingRivers.com.

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