Morels and Microbrews recently received statewide recognition for the annual Fulton event.
At the Missouri Governor's Conference on Tourism on Oct. 5, Stephen Foutes, Director of the Missouri Division of Tourism, presented the Missouri Division of Tourism's Pathfinder Award. Garry Vaught, president of the Brick District Merchant Association, accepted the award on the behalf of the Morels and Microbrews committee.
The Pathfinder Award recognizes an event or organization that develops a successful niche tourism market in a community, a press release states.
Morels and Microbrews was nominated for the award by Renee Graham, director of tourism for Callaway County. She nominated the event because of the unique quality of combining morels, microbrews and music. Graham said in a release that this seems to be the only event of its kind in the country.
This event was first started by Vaught and Tom Riley, who came up with the idea in 2011. The first festival was in 2012 where approximately 300 people attended. There was 64 pounds of morels, 10 breweries and seven volunteers. Morels and Microbrews has come a long way since then, as the 2022 event had approximately 3,000 people attend. There were also 450 pounds of morels, 20 breweries and 50 volunteers.
Morels and Microbrews is the primary fundraiser for the Brick District. The proceeds raised from the event are put back into the Brick District and local merchants.