Sunday, 27 April 2014

The 6th Uzumlu Mushroom Festival - 2014

The locally found Morel mushroom

Who would have thought that Mushrooms could have sparked off such an event when someone first thought of the idea a few years ago. But it did and now we all look forward to this annual event which highlights the locally found morel mushroom, local agriculture and the village as a whole.

A very different Uzumlu to the one we are used to this weekend

Today is the last day of the three day 6th Uzumlu Mushroom Festival. We have of course been down to to see what is going on and it is strange to see our rural idyll decked with bunting and flags, the streets covered with tarpaulin sheets and the village which is normally so quiet packed with people visiting for the festival.

A great atmosphere with people leisurely enjoying their day out. 

The event has a brilliant atmosphere, particularly in the evening when they hold the concerts and we really enjoyed ourselves. Although we didn't manage to stay until midnight when the concerts finish, we can hear the music at home floating up from the village which we really love to listen to.

There were a lot of trade stands with some really lovely things on sale. The event also provides a platform for the local charities and I know that they all managed to raise money for their very worthy causes. Well done to you all.

I loved the pottery Whirling Dervish but dare not ask how much it was!

Beautiful Turkish wares on sale

But what is really worthy of mention is the entrepreneurial spirit of the villagers themselves and the characters that some of them are!

Village character - I think so!

There is hardly a house or in fact any unused empty building that is not brought into action for the festival for some money generating idea or another. The village is famous for the cloth Dastar which has been made here for generations.  A lot of the local ladies have hand looms, many of which are hand made to make this cloth, so it is no surprise to see that many a house is decked with items made from this cloth for sale over the festival period.

Dastar .............

............. Dastar ..........

............. Dastar ..............

.................. Dastar ...............

............ Dastar everywhere - Beautiful items hand made by the local ladies

We also noticed villagers selling home made food, pekmez, home-grown herbs, of course the infamous Uzumlu wine (needless to say we bought a bottle) and even a hubba bubba pipe!

Uzumlu wine - we like it!

Hubba bubba pipe anyone?

One thing you can say about the event is that there is no small choice of food on offer. Families set up tables and chairs outside and make gozleme, kofte and we even saw potato tornadoes being made. Some had tables, others made a platform from breeze blocks and pallets, covered them with a bit of carpet and sat making their gozleme - brilliant! It's fabulous to see them cooking in the street with their makeshift equipment.

Gozleme made on the street ............

........ cooking centres set up with great imagination

Loved this simit sellers transport

The shops spread their wares out onto the streets.

The shops trade on the streets

Even the restaurants serve food on the street and set tables and chairs up on the road outside their businesses.

Mustafa the chef from Eddy's Place working out in the fresh air for a change

No shortage of places to eat. Food and somewhere to sit and eat available all along the streets

We were however, disappointed to notice the ridiculous prices in the local craft shop.  An example was a little dish with a Turkish style cover that I happened to have bought one of down in Fethiye recently from a normal, year round shop for 5 tl was 25 tl in there. So holiday makers beware!!

Other than that it was a fantastic event, all credit to the organisers, there was a great atmosphere with a real buzz to the village with everyone in high spirits and seeming to really enjoy their day in Uzumlu, especially the children who were well catered for with face painting, balloons, toy stands, family events going on and the local schools participating. We saw one little boy wrap the string of his balloon round his hand about twenty times. He was not going to lose that it was much too precious!

Local children dressed in traditional costume

We saw lots of happy faces setting off with their new balloon!

But the real stars of the show are the villagers themselves. The effort they put into participating in these three days is the epitome of what Uzumlu is all about. It's moments like these when I am so proud to call this village home.


  1. Apologies for my late reply. The date and programme is normally set just a few weeks before the event each year. But it is usually towards the end of April and to date has always been held on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.