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Oregon Honey Festival is Aug. 20 in Ashland

The Oregon Honey Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, which is International Honey Bee Day, at the Ashland Elks Lodge, 255 E. Main St. The fundraising event combines art, music, honey tasting and honey bee conservation efforts.

Attendees will view pollinator artwork, meet the artists, sample local honey and those 21 and older can try mead, a fermented honey beverage. There also will be chocolates, cheeses and other natural products. Performing musicians will include Sequoia, Carla Bauer and Jen Ambrose.

Beekeepers will discuss their work and how to start and maintain a backyard hive. Speakers also will talk about mead, recipes, use of bee products for health and healing, honey tasting, teaching kids about bees, new developments in hive monitoring and bee health.

Activities for kids will include making a personalized coloring book and hearing a reading by the author of the "Adventures of the Amazing Melissa Bee."

Artists from the project Equilibrium Rites, a 100-mile walk through the California almond monoculture, will discuss the merging of art and activism and premiere their short documentary of the experience.

The festival is produced by the nonprofit Cascade Girl organization and its community partner, Ashland Parks and Recreation, as a fundraiser for pollinator education. Sharon Schmidt, founder of Cascade Girl, believes that bees are in danger from multiple environmental issues, including predation by varroa mites, disease, lack of forage due to monoculture crops and pesticides.

Presale tickets are $8 and can be found at www.oregonhoneyfestival.com. Tickets are $10 at the door. Kids 8 and under get in for free.