Article Image Alt Text

Fungus Fest slated for Aug. 2-3

CRYSTAL FALLS—The 28th annual Humongous Fungus Festival is slated for Aug. 2-3 in Crystal Falls and promises fungus fun for everyone. The weekend-long event will feature the jaw-dropping 100 square-foot mushroom pizza, guided mushroom forays, a psychedelic-themed parade followed by a street dance and free tie-dying, a concert by The Doors of Chicago, food vendors cooking up amazing mushroom dishes, and more.  
    The festival celebrates the fungus living underneath Crystal Falls that was discovered by accident in the late 1980s. At the time it was determined to be the largest life-form on earth, and gained national attention in the 1990s. It even got its own wacky list on the Late Show with David Letterman. The original team of scientists that discovered the fungus returned in 2017 to remeasure it, finding that it is in fact more than double the size of the original measurement. The mushroom is now confirmed to spread across 187 acres, weigh about 882,000 pounds and be approximately 2,500 years old (Geggle, 2018).
    Locals and visitors alike agree that this quirky festival has something for all ages and interests. Among the mushroom-themed events, the festival includes a variety of kids’ games and crafts, city-wide rummage sales, adult softball tournament, mushroom vendors, and arts and craft vendors.
    “Anyone is welcome to attend, exhibit or participate in the festival,” said event coordinator and chamber director Erika Sauter.
    “We’re hope to keep growing this festival by expanding the range of interest and events within the event.”
    Registration forms for the guided forays, vendor applications and parade sign-up can be found at www.iron.org/fungusfest.
    Sauter encourages festival goers to make the most of their trip by getting insider’s tips on local restaurants, maps and waterfall tours, events tickets, and more at the Iron County Visitors’ Center.
    “Make Iron County your hub for day trips to the other amazing sites around the Western U.P.,” she said, “and don’t forget to use our Iron County hashtags as you’re sharing your adventures on Instagram and Facebook. Trending now are #OneStoplight and #IronCountyMI.”
    The Chamber and Visitors’ Center is located at 50 East Genesee Street in Iron River. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., though visitor information is available anytime on site and online at www.iron.org.
    For more information, call 888-TRY-IRON.