Fungus Fest begins

CRYSTAL FALLS – The annual Humungus Fungus Fest in Crystal Falls will be held this weekend.

The festival celebrates the 1,500-year-old, 100-ton Armillaria fungus, located mostly underground, that covers approximately 37 acres in nearby Mastodon Township.

“People are generally disappointed if they actually go to the site looking for the big mushroom,” according to the Humungus Fungus page on the city of Crystal Falls website.

Festivities will kick off today at 6:30 p.m. with a teen softball game at Runkle Lake Park.

Friday begins with the Crystal View Youth Golf Outing at 9 a.m.

The Forest Park Academic Boosters will be selling pasties at United Lutheran Church from 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The salad luncheon St. Mark’s Church will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The cribbage tournament at the Crystal Falls Senior Center will begin at 1:30 p.m.

There will be sidewalk and garage sales all day Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At 5 p.m., the Great Ball Race down Superior Avenue will begin, followed by a parade at 5:30 p.m.

This year’s parade celebrates a century of business on Superior Avenue with the theme “Up and Down Main Street-100 Years.”

Friday will come to a close with women’s and men’s softball games at Runkle Lake Park at 6 p.m.

Saturday starts off at 9 a.m. with a flea and crafters market at Runkle Lake Park.

Christ United Methodist Church will host a pie social from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

There will be activities at Runkle Lake Park throughout the day Saturday, including the “Humungus Pizza” cook from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., live music from Jan & Gino from noon to 2 p.m., buckboards and horseshoes at 1 p.m., campground site decorating judging at 2 p.m., horse-pulls from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and live music from Crossroads from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The New South Rampart Street Paraders will take the stage at the Crystal Theatre beginning at 6 p.m.

The Humungus Fungus Fest comes to a close Sunday, with a pancake breakfast at the VFW from 8 a.m. to noon.

Researchers Myron Smith, James Anderson, and Johann Bruhn discovered the giant fungus in the early 1990s, who determined that a number of mushrooms shared genetic material were in fact one organism.

Crystal Falls has been holding the Humungus Fungus Festival ever since.

Evan Reid’s e-mail address is