Ill. 'Horseradish Capital' celebrates spicy root -

Ill. 'Horseradish Capital' celebrates spicy root

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) -- A southwestern Illinois community is celebrating the spicy root that made it famous.

Collinsville on Saturday kicked off its annual International Horseradish Festival. The city is the self-anointed "Horseradish Capital of the World." Officials say its farmers produce two-thirds of the nation's supply of the gnarly root and more than half of the world's horseradish.

Resident Buck Keller cooked up a batch of the root with white vinegar and sugar to celebrate the festival. Collinsville Mayor John Miller and state Rep. Jay Hoffman ate some off a spoon as the event began.

The festival includes live music, a craft fair and contests. Food and beverages, including bratwurst, corndogs, and Bloody Marys are made with fresh horseradish.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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