CRYSTAL FALLS, Mich (WJMN) — Every year, people gather in the town of Crystal Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the name of one thing: fungus.
This year, the Humongous Fungus Fest is set to take place July 30 through Aug. 1.
“We will have a vendor village in the Crystal Falls parking lot, we will have mushroom vendors,” Barbra Luck, the president of the Crystal Falls Business Association, said. “We will have sidewalk sales up and in the businesses. We will also have rummage sales all through town.”
The festival is also offering something unique and extremely special for one former Crystal Falls resident.
“It is new this year and it is super exciting,” said Angie Dohl, the manager for the Crystal Theatre. “We are screening the first time ever a documentary called ‘Fungus Among Us,’ which was filmed by Tim Warmanen.”
“Ever since I was really little, 1992, I was 11 years old, and I remember we started having fungus fests every year and I remember being like ‘What are we talking about here?’ and ‘What is this?'” recalled Warmanen, the writer, producer, and editor of the documentary. “Then these shirts starting being everywhere: ‘There is a humongous fungus among us.’ so I have always wondered like, ‘What is the backstory on this? Does anyone know what this fungus is or where it is?’ And very few people even knew where it was at all.”
His curiosity and desire for answers about the phenomenon is what led Warmanen to team up with Logan Hall and Laurie Adrianopoli to dig up all aspects related to this fungus.
“They joined in in 2016 and we started shooting in 2017 and 2018 and kinda went from there,” Warmanen said.
The film includes interviews with the original scientists who discovered the fungus and covers the long-lasting effects it has had on the Crystal Falls community.
“I think this is just a really fun documentary that just combines science and a community aspect to it and you really get to see the connection of what a scientific discovery can do for a community, which I guess is just something we don’t really hear about that much, so I think it is a unique perspective,” Logan Hall, the film shooter and director of the documentary, said.
The grand premiere of the film will take place at the Crystal Theatre on July 31 1 p.m. CST. You can also catch screenings of the film on July 31 at 7 p.m. CST as well as at 1 p.m. CST Aug. 1.
“It is all about discoverability and what makes you unique, and this is something that has made Crystal Falls unique for almost 30 years now,” Warmanen said.