Tomorrow in Magnolia, Illinois (SW of Starved Rock) is the Morel Hunting Championship.
For this tiny town, this is a BIG event. The fire department has a pork chop dinner fundraiser. Ladies sell HOMEMADE pies for maybe $6 as a Church fundraiser. The entire town is encouraged to give a garage sale. Oh, you can buy mushroom trinkets and souvenirs like the t-shirt linked below.
ARound 9 AM, the people participating in the morel hunt load onto school buses. Last year, I counted 14 yellow school buses taking these fungal warriors to their location. The champion found over 150 morels, while others found golf balls!
At the hunt's conclusion, there is an auction of fresh morels. Some participants bring morels from their hunting grounds in Michigan, Iowa or wherever they originate from. So even if none are found locally, there are always morels to be bought.
IF you plan to come, please note they have closed the list of competitors for the hunt. IF you come at noon, then you can enjoy the pork chops, learn the winners and have a good chance at the auction.
I will be there representing the Illinois Mycological Association with a booth in the Tennis Courts.