August 3, 1997

Thousands Expected For Annual Testicle Festival

Chuck Woodbury Out West

While passing through Clinton, Mont., last September, I stopped by the Testicle Festival, whose motto is: “I had a ball at the Testicle Festival.”

It was pretty festive, all right, with lots of booths and tables set up outside. My gut feeling was that a heap of beer was going down there in the next few days. Of course, a lot of testicles would be consumed, too. About 10,000 visitors typically show up and devour two tons of the protein-rich bull meat.

The festival is held each year at the Rock Creek Lodge, which is 20 miles east of Missoula along I-90.

There’s a free year-round campground, but I didn’t stay because I thought it might get a little noisy.

I did partake of some testicles, however - the $5 sampler plate. I didn’t finish because I figured I was swallowing too much fat for my low-fat diet, but I did eat enough to report that they tasted pretty swell - like chicken. Of course, everything tastes like chicken.

“You wouldn’t think twice about these if you didn’t know what they were,” the guy at the table next to me said to his wife, who ate her plateful without comment.

Among the festival’s activities are a wet T-shirt contest featuring ladies, and a hairy chest contest featuring guys.

There is also Bull–- Bingo, with a grand prize of $100 for the lucky person who correctly predicts where a cow will “let loose.”

This year’s celebration, Sept. 18-22, will be the 15th annual Testicle Festival, which gets more famous every year.

I think festival promoter Rod Lincoln, the owner of the Rock Creek Lodge, is probably making a wad off this event. The lodge’s gift shop has a hundred different Testicle Festival souvenirs, including at least a dozen styles of shirts.

Lincoln uses only USDA-approved bull testicles, also known as Rocky Mountain Oysters.

“I skin them when they’re just thawing because the membrane peels like an orange,” he said. He then marinates them in beer, breads them four times, and deep-fries them.

The end result looks like a big, flat cookie or breaded tenderloin.

Actually, they’re billed as “Montana Tendergroin.”

For more information, contact the Rock Creek Lodge at (406) 825-4868.

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