THE ILLINOIS STATE MOREL MUSHROOM HUNTING CHAMPIONSHIP
is an annual event held the first Saturday of May.
Several years ago we traveled to The National Morel Mushroom Hunting Championship at Boyne City, Michigan. We didn't really know what to expect. As we neared Boyne City we started seeing signs that read "Welcome Mushroom Hunters". It was truly unbelievable.
We, like most morel maniacs, were very secretive of our shroom patches. We didn't even share them with each other always. We nicknamed our most productive spots so that we could discuss them in public without giving away their location. A neighbor once greeted our return home with several pounds in hand by asking our then four-year old, "Where did you find those?" You can imagine the laughter when our daughter innocently responded "New York City". She wasn't trying to be deceitful, it's just that that's what we had nicknamed that particular location (because there were so many dead elms we thought it must be the New York City of Mushrooms).
At any rate, we did feel welcome. These people were like us. They understood us. And. best of all, they were inviting us to come and pick their mushrooms. This wasn't Michigan, this was Heaven!
After several years of attending The National and several other festivals in Missouri and Indiana, we started to envision a Championship for Illinois. One idea led to another until December of 1995 when we approached the Magnolia Village Council to ask for permission and help in hosting this event. We wanted to combine the best of the other festivals and yet not compete with them. Because the mushroom season travels north with spring we are able to have festivals on different dates and still be at the peak of the season. We're sure the Magnolia Village Council thought we were nuts (who else would invite hundreds of mushroom hunters to their favorite patch) but they were willing to try it.
The following are reports and information about the 1996 through 2004 events
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Write us at: Morel Mania, 8948 Illinois Hwy 18, Magnolia, IL 61336 (USA)
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© 2006, Morel Mania