Kewaneeans know how to have a good time, and special events are planned throughout the year which are enjoyed not only by local residents, but by visitors from throughout the country.
Since the late 1940s — when a U.S. Department of Agriculture report showed that Henry County produced more hogs than any other county in America — Kewanee has proudly claimed the title of Hog Capital of the World.
That title assumes added importance over Labor Day Weekend, when Kewanee holds its annual Hog Capital Festival.
The streets in downtown Kewanee are blocked off and a large carnival is set up. Also lining the streets are a number of food stands and other booths.
In the middle of it all are the barbecue pits. Volunteers grill about 30,000 pork chops over the four-day weekend, and people come from miles around to try them.
There are several highlights to the Hog Festival:
Hog Days is the perfect ending to a long summer, but it’s not the only festivities in Kewanee.
On the Fourth of July, the Chamber of Commerce sponsors entertainment and a fireworks display at Northeast Park.
Also on the Fourth of July is the Francis Park Fourth of July celebration. Originated almost 30 years ago as Kewanee’s observance of the nation’s Bicentennial, the festival features an ethnic food fair, a craft show, an antique car show, a steam engine display and antique tractors.
The chamber also sponsors Christmas in Kewanee in early December, an event which kicks off the Christmas shopping season in downtown Kewanee.