It actually began in 1947 when Henry County Illinois (where Kewanee is located) was declared the top hog producing county in all of America by the United States Department of Agriculture. In 1949 the Illinois House of Representatives unanimously passed a Resolution naming Kewanee and Henry County the Hog Capital of the World. By 1954 (when our count begins) we were off and running with an annual event to pay tribute to our agricultural roots and, quite honestly, just to have fun with the last holiday of the summer.
Here we are 60 years down the road. Henry County is no longer the top hog producing county in all of America. But we still keep the title alive and honor our roots in farming every Labor Day weekend with Kewanee Hog Days. A time to remember who we are and to come together in a festival atmosphere to salute the end of summer and welcome in Fall.
The very first event ever held, the Barrow Show, is still on the schedule every year...along with mud volleyball, flea markets and crafts, a Model T and A Rally, carnival and concessions, a mammoth car show, tournaments for golf, softball and biking and a hog stampede, now entered and run by hundreds of humans instead of real live hogs as used to be the case back in 1954! There's also the World's Largest Outdoor Pork Barbecue, serving over 30 thousand and lots of relaxation and visiting time with family, friends, neighbors and guests coming to Kewanee for a four day family-friendly party!
Come join us August 30th through September 2nd, 2013 for our 60th Annual Kewanee Hog Days. As it turns out, trusting in the hog wasn't such a bad idea after all!