The story goes that many years ago, a humongous fungus (aka a giant mushroom) was found in the woodsy, off-the-grid town of Crystal Falls, Mich. Weighing in at roughly 11 tons, covering 37 acres, and believed to be upwards of 1,500 years old. It’s not hard to see why an annual festival, the Humungus Fungus Fest (the misspelling is intentional), now in its 20th year, was spawned to celebrate this enormous ‘shroom.
Of course, the giant-sized mushroom celebrations don’t stop at honoring an awe-inducing fungus. The festival’s main event each year is the serving of a Humungus Pizza, measuring ten feet by ten feet and topped with (what else?) mushrooms. A Runkle Lake Park pizza, burgers, brats, and beer event; kid’s piñata smashing; strong man contest; and various picnics and golf and horseshoe games round out the mycologically themed weekend. And don’t miss the pasty-eating contest (a pasty is a meat-and-potato pastry) and the chance to get to know the Crystal Falls community in its element.
While the Harbor House mushroom cook-off is taking a year off in 2011, the recipes they highlight from past festivals (like 2009’s stuffed mushrooms and 2010’s mushroom and spinach ravioli) have us hankering for 2012 already.