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      Humongous fungus among us

      There's a humongous fungus among us.

      "It's really weird, they sometimes grow above ground, but like underneath,â?? said Allie Pingel, a parade goer. â??That sounds weird."

      Weird it may be, this is no tiny toadstool. It grows underground, so it can't be seen, but this 11-ton, 37-acre wide mammoth mushroom has the town revering its presence. The community pays tribute each year to the over 1,000-year-old shroom during the Humongous Fungus Festival that kicked off Friday with a ball race.

      â??All the balls are numbered, and everyone has their own ticket, so when they announce first, second, and third, you just look and your ticket, 'Oh, hey! I got 1st place, won 500 bucks!'â?? said Phil Marchi.

      And the traditional parade marked the beginning of a weekend of massive mushroom mania. "It was really cool, there was candy everywhere,â?? Pingel said. â??It was fun."

      To see a list of events happening for the festival, visit their website.