July 20, 2008

Michigan Humungous Fungus Fest: August 7-10 in Crystal Falls

It's almost time for the annual Humongous Fungus Fest in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The festival, scheduled to run August 7-10, celebrates what may be the largest and oldest living organism on the planet. It's a single specimen of Armillaria gallica approximately 40 acres in diameter and as much as 10,000 years old. The fungus produces edible mushrooms, but it is also a tree pathogen.

The festival takes place in a town called Crystal Falls, at the intersection of US 141 and State Highway 69. As far as I know, it's the only civic festival in the country that celebrates a fungus. I've never been to it myself; I'd like to check it out someday, but this year it's being held the at the same time as the Mycological Society of America meeting. Maybe next year.

If anyone who reads this goes, though, I want to see pictures!

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