Five Out-Of-The-Ordinary Michigan Food Festivals
This weekend, the town of Vermontville will shut down so they can celebrate the joy that is Maple Syrup. Who wouldn't? But that golden goodness isn't the only food item that our state celebrates.
Here's five Michigan festivals involving food. Some of them strange.
1. Gizzard Fest -- Potterville June 10-12
Gizzards are a special stomach in chickens that allow them to process their food, and the South Central town of Potterville feels the need to honor them. Why? I couldn't pin down a reason. This festival features a gizzard eating contest, but I'm not sure if it's for speed, or to see if anyone can choke one down.
2. Munger Potato Festival -- Munger July 28-31
The lowly potato may not mean much anymore in our anti-carb society, but back in the day, people worshipped that little tuber, and in Michigan, it became a staple of our diet because of our short growing season. In the Thumb town of Munger, the potato means a weekend of polka music, demolition derbies and, of course, shoving down pounds of potatoes. No word whether former Vice President Dan Quayle will be in for the Spelling Bee.
3. Pasty Fest -- Calumet last weekend in June
The little Cornish meat pies that sustained Upper Peninsula miners for years has a special place in Yooper folk lore. That means a weekend party which includes Da Yoopers, a weird band from Ishpeming (remember 'Rusty Chevrolet'?), kids games, and a Pasty Cook Off. Last year's winner? A Venison Pasty, eh.
4. Morel Mushroom Festival -- Boyne City May 11-15
The tiny, spongy fungi are as delicious as they are difficult to find in the Northern Michigan Woods. So rare are the little guys, they fetch up to 8 dollars a pound, making it worth people's while to scrounge the woods. Boyne City, a scenic little burg on the banks of beautiful Lake Charlevoix opens it arms for shroom lovers nationwide annually the weekend after Mother's Day. There's craft beer, morel hunts and even a Morel Pole to show off your kill.
5. Maple Syrup Festival -- Vermontville THIS WEEKEND April 22-24
This little Southwestern Michigan town on M-66 opens its doors to celebrate the deliciousness that is maple syrup. If you think maple syrup means that fake maple flavored corn syrup you buy at the grocery store, you may wind up in a fight. This is about real maple syrup, made by boiling down the sap of the local maple trees. Not only will they show you how syrup is made, but there will be a boatload of pancakes to drown in your new found appreciation for the real thing. Shepherd also hosts a Maple Syrup festival this weekend, but Vermontville's is the OG of SYRUP!!
If that's not enough, there's also a Sugar festival, a Pumpkin Festival, a Bologna Festival (in Yale, the prettiest little town in the lower thumb!) and a Festival all about eating your Breakfast Cereal, so there's a fest to fit any food fancy you may have in Michigan!