Growing up in New Jersey, the community of Secaucus was associated with pig farms. That fact made Secaucus the butt end of many a disparaging remark. Today the pigs are gone and Secaucus is a very different place.

In the meantime, there is a community in Ilinois that is quite proud with its association with pigs.

That community is Kwanee. They claim to bne “the hog cpital of the world”.

This claim is celebrated every year at the Hog Capital of the World Festival, staged over Labor Day weekend.

Kewanee is  a community of some 12,000 is located in Henry County. “Kewanee” is the Winnebago word for prarie chicken.

Kewanee was well known in the steam industry for fire-tube boilers. The Kewanee Boiler Corporation manufactured and sold thousands of boilers throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada and the world for well over one hundred years. However, the company failed in 2002 and was forced to go out of business.

As for the connection to hogs,  on March 24, 1949, State Rep. Frank P. Johnson of Kewanee introduced House Resolution 40 on the floor of the 66th Illinois General Assembly declaring Kewanee and Henry County to be the “Hog Capital of the World” after being designated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as leading the nation in hog production. The resolution passed on a unanimous vote.

Shortly after that, Kewanee began celebrating “Hog Days“.


But they still honor those roots every Labor Day weekend with what these days is called “Hog Days”, an event described as “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”.

Hog Days features what is called “the world’s largest pork chop bbq”. There is also entertainment, a carnival, parade, Model T Races, a four mile run (Hog Stampede) and something called the Hogotta Regatta.

Now, I wonder how many hogs have been served up over those years (more than 60) ?