The Hog Days festivities are underway in Kewanee.
As the barbeque fires up and the rides pack with kids, it started to remember a vital piece of this community and area.
It’s a hectic final few hours as last minute preps get the carnival rides in place and the main stage for entertainment arrives in downtown
Hog Days Co-Chair Larry Flannery said, “Kind of fun to see if we can pull this off every year.”
This is the 65 annual year that sees this community pigging out.
Flannery said, “World’s largest pork barbeque.”
It’s a tradition beginning a few years before this festival became continuous.
Flannery said, “In 1947, the United States Department of Agriculture noted that Henry County was producing more hogs than any other county in America.”
It’s a title the area might no longer hold, but it’s a legacy that still drives this community.
Hog Days Vice-Chair Mike Komnick said, “Farming is still huge here, so it is great to see everybody come out and support that. We might no longer be the hog capital of the world, but we are by far a very big part.”
Now it’s become a way to have one last summer hurrah.
Komnick said, “The midway and seeing the families enjoying themselves, the kids with the smiles.”
The long weekend of none stop events with staples like mud volleyball…
Flannery said, “Sit out there and watch everyone get completely unrecognizable because they’re so covered in mud by the end of each match.”
To the parade and Stampede.
Komnick said, “I run in that, and now my son runs with me, and my youngest daughter is now starting to get involved with it.”
And of course plenty of pork.
Flannery said, “We grill over 30,000 pieces of meat.”
Hog Days wraps up Labor Day around 5 p.m.