International Horseradish Festival in Collinsville
Since 1988, Collinsville, Illinois has been home to the International Horseradish Festival, which takes place the first weekend in June at Woodland Park.
The annual celebration features live music, a Bloody Mary contest and Little Miss Horseradish Festival Pageant, root “golf,” a root toss, a horseradish-eating contest and a horseradish recipe contest. Area grower Jeff Heepke argues culinary imagination is crucial to winning that horse(radish) race.
“It’s not just a condiment – it’s an ingredient,” he says. “You can have it with mayonnaise on your ham sandwich or straight on a steak. You can put it in the marinade for your steak or in your chicken marinade. Different processors have mixed it with cranberries or pineapples or apricots. You could use that on your bologna sandwich to spice it up, or you could add color or flavor to your mashed potatoes.”
Read more about how horseradish is grown, or learn the history of horseradish and other pungent particulars.