By Devese “Dee” Ursery
“The Horseradish Capital of the World” is preparing a new location for one of its biggest festivals of the year.
Collinsville will be hosting its 36th International Annual Horseradish Festival in Uptown along Main Street. The festival will have a family-friendly atmosphere where both adults and the children can come out and enjoy games, food and live music.
The two-day festival will be jumping from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3. It will cover several blocks, spanning from the west end of Main Street to the east end near South Morrison Avenue.
The City announced that the festival would be moving Uptown in order to give Collinsville the capacity necessary to reach a potential attendance goal of over 25,000 visitors. The all-time high in attendance is 185,000 visitors.
The festival will feature the International Horseradish 5K run, which will take place on the first day of the event at 8:30 a.m., on Main Street. The 5K run will use the same course as the Italian Fest 5K run and will end on Main Street.
Also on that day the Car and Motorcycle Show, which will start at 9 a.m. with judging starting at noon. The Car and Motorcycle Show will be located in the Collinsville Library parking lot. The car show is sponsored by Renewal by Andersen Window Replacement.
Other events include the Cornhole Tournament, which will take place on both days. The fee will be $30 for a two-person team and the game will be located at Clinton Street, next to Miner’s Theater. A Root Toss that will happen on Saturday at around 11:30 a.m. at the Old Herald Brewery and Distillery. There will also be Root Grinding as well, that also will be on Clinton Street next to Miner’s Theater.
Besides all kinds of Horseradish inspired foods, there will be a huge family-area for the little ones with a bounce house and Bubble Bus. Face Painting, a petting zoo and gaming truck will also be out there for loads of fun. The family-fun area will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 10 pm on Saturday.
According to a press release from the City, around 60 percent of the world’s horseradish is grown and produced in the Collinsville region. The Illinois Horseradish Growers Association consists of about 12 farms in Madison and St. Clair Counties, varying from five to 500 acres of production. This region produces more than six million gallons of prepared horseradish a year, ground and processed from 24 million pounds of horseradish roots.
Illinois generates the biggest stock of horseradish roots with Collinsville-based J.R. Kelly Company being the country’s top supplier. They distribute an amount of 10 million to 12 million pounds of horseradish roots a year, according to the release. There will be over 38 sponsors supporting the event, from Ascend Dispensary to Jim’s Pawn and Jewelry.