Friday, May. 14, 2010

The World's Largest Catsup-Bottle Festival (Collinsville, Ill.)

Collinsville, Ill., is the proud owner of the world's largest bottle of ketchup. The annual Catsup Bottle Festival honors the city's most visible landmark: a 170-ft.-tall (50 m) water tower shaped like ... well, you get it. The tower was built in 1949 for the G.S. Suppiger ketchup-bottling plant, bottlers of Brooks Rich & Tangy Ketchup. It reads catsup after the original Brooks bottle, hence the name of the festival. The daylong event features a ketchup tasting, a water-balloon toss, a hula-hoop contest, a (smothered in ketchup) hot-dog-eating contest and a contest to crown kids as Little Princess Tomato and Sir Catsup. The town gathers to sing "Happy Birthday" to the beloved water tower and serve up some birthday cake.

It seems Collinsville really likes its condiments. Coincidentally, the town is also the self-proclaimed Horseradish Capital of the World and hosts an annual Horseradish Fest. It is said to produce 60% of the world's horseradish.