13 World “Capitals”

There's a world capital for everything, and tons of them right here is the U.S. Let's learn about some of them, courtesy of Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Attack of the Factoids.

1. Cow Chip Throwing Capital of the World: Beaver, Oklahoma

(Image credit: Flickr user Mike Petrucci)

In preparation for their annual competition in April, the folks of Beaver collect, flatten, and dry cow poop into Frisbee-sized throwing chips. No points for style or choreography; only distance.

2. Artichoke Capital of the World: Castroville, California

(Image credit: Flickr user dfb)

The town comes by its giant fiberglass artichokes honestly: California grows more artichokes than any other state in the union, and Castroville’s one of the most prolific.

3. Barbed Wire Capital of the World: La Crosse, Kansas

(Image credit: LeeAnne Adams)

La Crosse is home to the Barbed Wire Museum— it’s either the world’s largest, or one of the top three, depending on how you count. Regardless, its collection contains 2,000 different samples of barbed wire, as well as fence posts, books, and educational films.

4. Bourbon Capital of the World®: Bardstown, Kentucky

(Image credit: Flickr user Brent Moore)

The residents of Bardstown are so protective of their title that they even registered the phrase. Making the stuff since 1776, the area produces 69 percent of the world’s bourbon.

5. Capital of the World™: Anoka, Minnesota

(Image credit: Flickr user Brett Whaley)

The trademarked title comes from the town’s claim that it threw the first town-wide Halloween celebration. In 1920, tired of finding their “cows roaming Main Street, windows soaped, and outhouses tipped over,” Anoka residents created an annual party with costume parades, pillow fights, fireworks, snake dances, and “celebrity appearances.”

6. Fruitcake Capital of the World: Claxton, Georgia

(Image credit: Flickr user Jimmy Emerson, DVM)

Two bakeries pump more than four million pounds of fruitcake out of Claxton every year. The cake batters and fruits are tumbled 375 pounds at a time in what looks a lot like a cement mixer. Fruitcakes last six months at room temperature, twice as long refrigerated.

7. Loon Capital of the World: Mercer, Wisconsin

(Image credit: Flickr user megankhines)

You know we’re talking about the bird, right? The people of Mercer are no more crazy than the rest of us. Well, maybe a little crazier, as evidenced by the fact that they proclaimed themselves the World’s Loon Capital.

8. Moonshine Capital of the World: Franklin County, Virginia

(YouTube link

Technically, this title has since been retired, but in the 1920s, about 99% of the working residents of Franklin County were involved in a massive bootleg liquor trade. The county museum still honors the nickname with historic stills and other exhibits.

9. Horseradish Capital of the World: Collinsville, Illinois

(Image credit: Andrew Keith)

Claiming to produce 85 percent of the world’s horseradish, Collinsville is a treasure trove of condiment riches. Once the home of the G. S. Suppiger Catsup bottling plant, a 170-foot replica ketchup bottle also serves as the town water tower.

10. Factory Tour Capital of the World: York, Pennsylvania

(Image source: Explore York)

Many towns have factory tours, but York has 25 in all— from Harley-Davidson to Bluett Bros. Violins, Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzels, the York County Solid Waste Authority, and Hershey’s Chocolate World, which contains a 10-minute faux factory-tour ride through a replica chocolate factory. (No chocolate bars are actually made there.)

11. Fire Hydrant Capital of the World: Albertville, Alabama

(Image credit: Flickr user Jimmy Emerson, DVM)

Home of a major fire hydrant company, Albertville took on the title proudly and features a nickel-plated hydrant downtown.

12. Snowshoe Baseball Capital of the World: Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin

(YouTube link)

There’s nothing like long winters to give you some crazy ideas. Take Snowshoe Baseball, invented by Lake Tomahawk’s town chairman Ray Sloan in 1961 as a way of entertaining summer tourists. “Snowshoe baseball” is exactly what the name implies— baseball made comical by playing it in snowshoes in a field covered in sawdust.

13. Hubcap Capital of the World: Pearsonville, California

(Image credit: Flickr user Patrick)

Tiny town, one obsessed collector, thousands of hubcaps on display.


The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Attack of the Factoids. Weighing in at over 400 pages, it's a fact-a-palooza of obscure information.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!

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