We citizens of Illinois just love to celebrate. We have all kinds of festivals in our state, all celebrating something. Oktoberfest, SwedishFest, PolishFest, GreekFest, you name it. If we can attach the words "fest," or "festival" to something, we'll do it. Even if it seems kinda weird to an outsider.

Madison Bondi, writing for Reboot Illinois, points out in her recent column that we've got festivals here in Illinois that you just won't find anywhere else. She's got a list of "13 Unusual Illinois Festivals You've Gotta See to Believe," and she includes a couple of fests that are very close to home, like the "Turkey Testicle Festival" in Byron, and the "Milk Days" festival in Harvard.

In this area, we're pretty familiar with those two yearly gatherings, but I'll admit that there were more than a few fests here in Illinois that I was completely unfamiliar with. Things like:

  • White Squirrel Count Days in Olney
  • World’s Largest Catsup Bottle Festival in Collinsville
  • Darn Hot Pepper Fest in Cobden
  • Garlic Fest in Highwood (Motto: "Our City Really Stinks!")
  • The Popeye Picnic in Chester
  • The Rhubarb Festival in Aledo
  • International Horseradish Festival in Collinsville

For Madison Bondi's full list of Illinois' unusual festivals, click here.

Illinois holds no exclusivity when it comes to off-beat, or just plain weird festivals, though. It appears that the whole world gets a little nuts from time to time:


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