Monday, July 12, 2010

#30 Ketchup Festival - Collinsville, IL - July 11, 2010

#30 Ketchup Festival - Collinsville, IL - July 11, 2010

Now I had been to this festival before, and unfortunately not much has changed in the land of
giant ketchup bottles. Pictured are: a large replica of the infamous water tower, an ice sculpture of said water tower and finally the start of the festival itself. This was the water tower's 61st Birthday and the party was on. Sadly the tower is no longer in use, as the ketchup factory it supplied water to moved in the 1960's.

I always come hungry to a festival, and this day was no exception. After seeing how Collinsville had improved its Horseradish Festival, I was anticipating an abundance of ketchup indulgences. Instead, I was once again faced with a hot dog. There were three food vendors, and no one focused on the ingredient. I mean it's a condiment, it should be easy to feature some food. Anyway, the hot dog was good but would have been better with mustard.

Then I was pleasantly surprised with this meatball sub. I was told Brook's Ketchup was a main ingredient, and it tasted like it. I will have to say that for $4 it was a very filling sandwich, but mama mia it was a spicy meatball.

Once again the ketchup taste test was on. They randomly arrange four different brands, and you are supposed to pick out the Brooks Ketchup. Last year these trials took two tries, and this year it actually took three. I mean it's flipping ketchup, they all taste the same (Especially after the first trial). That tangy sweet flavor is still with me, and I was getting nauseous re-tasting pure ketchup. Forget the gallon of milk or stick of butter challenges; I dare any person to drink a whole bottle of ketchup.

Ahh..The Car Show. The ketchup festival does boast one of the larger car shows I've come across, and these were two of the more odd selections. I love the side car on the motorcycle, with the hatch down it would feel like some kind of space escape pod. To the right is a creepy clown in a creepy car. I hate clowns.

Festive Trinket of the Week: There wasn't anything ketchup related for purchase, and I'm not in the market for a handmade bracelet. Thus I present my blue ribbon for the ketchup taste test. I ate a lot of ketchup for this.

Video of the Week: Did I mention I hate clowns? I don't know why any self-respecting parent would allow their child anywhere near this creepy guy, but here we are singing Happy Birthday to a ketchup bottle with him.

As I had mentioned, I attended this festival last year as well. Unfortunately it was the same festival minus an Elvis impersonator. I'm not sure there is a gain there. I mean that clown even did the exact same magic routine (It's here if you have the gumption). On the plus side, they gave out cupcakes this year instead of a sheet cake. Much more sanitary. We had a problem with someone licking their hands while serving cake in the office, and made this same transition.

For some reason the catsup vs. ketchup battle always persists. I firmly stand by ketchup, as catsup seems pretentious. The topic always reminds me of Burns from the Simpsons in this episode, you can watch the whole thing or skip to the 8:45 point for the clip. The debate continues on the King of Queens, and finally settled by this survey (Ketchup was winning 372 to 5 at the time of writing this).

Some of you may have actually come by here to learn about the history of ketchup or the water tower itself (for some reason). If so, then Festive Festivals came through for you last year.

There are plenty of practical uses for ketchup if you have talent. Just take this artist for example who is able to paint a "Supersize Me " poster with ketchup and fries. Jim Gaffigan may be the best or worst comedian ever because he has a 5 minute bit on ketchup. You decide. Or if you just want some fun ketchup facts, then click here.

This festival had me re-thinking my plan of repeating festivals. I have tried to schedule festivals while trying to avoid repeats thus far, but some weekends are dominated as others don't want to compete with them. I would hope that festivals would change every year, but I was dumbfounded when even the clown did the same act. I am torn about this weekend's bagel festival and will continue to look for new ideas. This is where you the reader are vital. If you know of a festival not already listed on the calendar please email me or post in the suggestion box!

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