Illinois is Home to the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle and There’s a Festival to Celebrate It
A Giant Bottle of Catsup
In October of 1942 construction was completed in Collinsville, Illinois on the 170-foot tall tower that would provide the water for Brooks Foods to bottle its "original rich & tangy catsup." In what can only be described as true to the times of Americana and roadside attractions, that tower was built in the shape of a bottle of Brooks Catsup. According to a post from Route 66 Postcards on Facebook, the tower holds 100,000 gallons of water.
Completed in October 1949 as the water tower for a now-shuttered Brooks Foods plant at a cost exceeding $23,000, the 170-foot-tall water tower still advertises Brooks’ original rich and tangy catsup. If filled with catsup, the 70-foot monument, which sits on top of a 100-foot stand, would hold up to 640,000 standard-size bottles. Instead, it holds 100,000 gallons of water.
Resting Along Old Route 66 in Illinois
Collinsville, Illinois sits along old Route 66, one of the most famous highways in the United States. Known by some as the Mother Road, Route 66 connected Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. According to the National Parks Department, there are over 250 structures including bridges, buildings, and more along Route 66 that have been added to the National Registry of Historic Places, including the giant catsup bottle in Collinsville.
Gaining National Historic Places Status
After a great deal of effort in the mid-1990s by the Catsup Bottle Preservation Group, the giant bottle of catsup was spared from demolition, and the restoration was able to begin. According to the official website of the catsup bottle, it officially made its way onto the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
A Summer Festival to Celebrate The World's Largest Catsup Bottle
Perhaps the only thing more Americana than a giant, roadside catsup bottle, is a summer festival to celebrate a giant, roadside catsup bottle. Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 8, 2023. Take part in the magic of this small-town, American festival with the Little Princess Tomato and Sir Catsup contest, a tater tot eating contest - smothered in catsup, of course, a hot dog eating contest - smothered in catsup, and more. To learn more, visit CatsupBottleFestival.com.