Montana Testicle Festival
in Clinton, MT, USA
Photograph courtesy of Montana Testicle Festival
Montana Testicle Festival
MMMMontana tendergroin...cowboy caviar...critter fritters. Come have a ball, or two, or two dozen at Montana's Original Testicle Festival. This all-out, five-day fest is held every September at the Rock Creek Lodge, a seedy bunkhouse, bar and casino in the no-man's land located half-way between Glacier and Yellowstone national parks. The festival is the brainchild of Rod Lincoln, owner of the lodge. Like every year after the festival, he's got a wicked case of laryngitis. "I believe every place should have a signature event that sets it apart. And since there are a lot of Rocky Mountain Oyster thieves around these parts, it was a natural." Then Lincoln adds, "And I just loved the way Testicle Festival rolled off my tongue."
What started out in 1982 as a quirky culinary celebration of Rocky Mountain Oysters (bull balls) for 300 has turned into a 15,000-person R-rated, knock-em-down, drag-em-out party. "Yep, there's lots of gratuitous nudity, so this is no place for the kids. But it's all spontaneous. I guess people are expressing their First Amendment rights." He's talking about events like the Body Painting Contest, the Co-Ed Naked Pool Tournament, the Wet T-shirt Contest (if T-shirts are worn at all), and the Hairy Chest Contest, where men often drop their drawers to further impress the judges.
There are also events for the clothed, such as Bullshit Bingo, where people buy a square on a huge grid for $5. Every time the bull shits, somebody wins $100. For the thousands of Harley riders who show up every year, there's the Biker Ball Biting Contest. Lincoln explains, "It's a fishing pole kind of affair. We put a Rocky Mountain Oyster on a clip attached to the line hanging over the street. And girls on the back of a bike try to bite the ball as they pass without using their hands." Other entertainment? In 1999 Lincoln invited the Seattle Cossacks Motorcycle Stunt and Drill Team to thrill the crowd. And what party would be complete without lots of music and booze?
But the balls are always the main attraction...the edible kind, that is. In 1999, Lincoln served over 54,000 pounds of USDA-approved Rocky Mountain Oysters quadruple-dipped in a wet and dry batter with special herbs and spices. Lincoln laughs, "I like to say Colonel Sanders went to his grave without my recipe." Although the entire event has been free in year's past, in 2000 there will be a $10 per head charge, whether you stay for a day or for the entire festival.
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