Olean, Missouri, Goes Balls-Out for Turkey Testicles

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ROBIN WHEELER
  • Robin Wheeler

Olean, Missouri, is a tiny town with a lot of balls.

Located near the Lake of the Ozarks (four miles northeast of Eldon off Highway 87), the village (pop. 157) will host the 17th annual Olean Testicle Festival on Saturday, June 5. The event's sponsored by the town and the Olean Jaycees a community-service organization.

The Eldon chapter of Future Farmers of America assists with testicle prep.

What, you ask, does "testicle prep" entail?

How does cleaning, butterflying, buttermilk-marinating, breading and frying a ton of turkey testicles grab ya?

Olean Jaycees treasurer Gayle Bledsoe describes the the delicacy that results:

"A lot of people compare them to fried chicken or tenderloin," says she.

(Fried chicken or tenderloin? That cuts a pretty wide swath through the animal-protein food group, n'est çe pas?)

"They're prepared like chicken, but they're a lot richer and fill you up a lot faster."

A former Jaycees president got the idea when he saw a testicle festival in another state. He thought it was funny and decided to start the Olean event in 1992. Since then the event has slowly grown, thanks to vague billboards scattered throughout central Missouri, and word of mouth.

The festival takes over the entire town, filling the streets with testicle tasters, bikers, a beer garden and less ballsy food vendors. This year's festival begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 5. Admission is $5 for anyone over age twelve, plus food costs. Arrive early if you want to sample the testicles; they tend to run out by midafternoon.

To get you in the mood, here's some footage, shot by Lake TV 32, of last year's festivities.

Olean Testicle Festival Main Street in Olean, Missouri Saturday, June 5, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

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