Taking place on June 3 and 4, Collinsville’s Horseradish Festival brought the community together for a day of live music, games and rides. The city which is nicknamed the “horseradish capital of the world” hosted its 35th festival.
The Horseradish Festival is a Collinsville tradition that has seen around 185,000 people. Sponsored by Laura Automotive Group, the festival lasted two days and hosted numerous events such as the Show and Shine Car Show, the Bloody Mary Contest, the Cornhole Tournament and the 5k Run.
At the festival, people were able to walk around and visit different vendors while listening to live music from local bands. Besides Horseradish, vendors sold a variety of other items such as clothes, crafts and artwork.
Next to the vendors was the Family Fun Area where kids could enjoy a rock climbing wall, petting zoo, a bounce house, face painting and carnival games.
The days began calmly and became more crowded as night time approached. The lines for each vendor grew as time went on.
Vendor Diane Koviak said this was her first year attending the Horseradish Festival and she has had an overall pleasant experience.
“I wanted to come out and see about selling my resin paintings at a new place and so far it’s been nice,” Koviak said.
Koviak said the people attending and selling their products seem nice and she enjoys the family-friendly feeling surrounding the festival.
“It seems like a great family event because there’s this whole section for kids. They have rides and food and all kinds of stuff,” Koviak said.
Andy Colfry, a Collinsville native, said this is his first year attending the event as a vendor. He was selling shirts that featured pop culture characters in various places in Collinsville.
“I’m a local illustrator and artist. I typically work at comic conventions and things like that, but I have these Collinsville shirts, so this seemed like a great place to sell them,” Colfry said.
Colfry said that while this is his first time tabling for the Horseradish Festival, he has attended the event several times in the past.
“I usually try to stop in and look to see what local vendors are selling. I usually buy some Horseradish from one of the stands,” Colfry said.
Aside from vendors, people attending the Horseradish Festival are able to enjoy the many events and activities that are set up.
Richard Hayes from Collinsville said he enjoys attending the festival with his family every year.
“I like coming with my wife and kids later in the day when there’s more live music and more happening. We’ll usually walk around and sometimes find people we know and chat for a little bit,” Hayes said.
Hayes said the Family Fun Area gives his family something to do and his children have a fun time going on rides and playing games.
Olivia Weidenbenner from Shiloh, Illinois said she has attended the festival since she was a kid and enjoys seeing the different vendors sell various kinds of horseradish.
“I love horseradish and it’s crazy how many variations there are of it. I really like getting to sample the different kinds and going home with a jar of it,” Weidenbenner said.
Weidenbenner said it’s nice seeing children running around while adults socialize because it makes it seem like we’re slowly getting back to normal after the last few years of social distancing.
“It’s a great time of the year where the weather is nice and not too hot for eating horseradish outside. It’s just an enjoyable atmosphere overall,” Weidenbenner said.
Weidenbenner said the Horseradish Festival remains as one of her favorite summer events and she looks forward to going again next year.
“What I love about it is it’s a small town, and a lot of families come out. It’s just fun, food, good times and all of that,” Weidenbenner said.