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Best Festival Gone Missing (2007)
[World's Largest Catsup Bottle Summerfest]
"catsup" or "ketchup?" For once, it doesn't matter. The annual World's
Largest Catsup Bottle Summerfest that normally takes place in July in
Collinsville, Illinois, has been squashed. As the Big Tomato, Mike
Gassman, noted in an e-mail to the Catsup Bottle Fan Club, this year's
Fest was kiboshed owing to politics and money issues with the local
government. And that's completely antithetical to the spirit of catsup.
This most American of condiments is a uniter, not a divider; it brings
together French Fries and Hamburgers, Eggs and Steak, Baked Beans and
Bloody Marys. OK, maybe not the bloody mary. But you never know until
you try! And that was (sniff) the appeal of the Catsup Fest: You had to
try it to like it, and now you can't even try it. Foreigners and snooty
foodies may scoff, but everything goes better with catsup. The
Summerfest always brings out a big crowd, a happy crowd, a crowd that
wants to vote for Little Princess Tomato and Little Sir Catsup, and
sample free catsup, and come together under the hot July sun and pay
homage to the big Brooks Catsup bottle that towers overhead. And now
it's gone. Slather yourself in Red Gold and march on Collinsville's
city hall to demand justice, pour a little Brooks out for your dead
homies and pray that this all gets straightened out by next summer. We
owe it to the children — no tomato left behind in 2008.