BRITT, Iowa – The locally renowned Hobo Days is in full swing this week. However, those who haven’t heard the name before might not realize what hobo really stands for. One clue, it’s not a homeless person.
The Hobo Foundation President, Linda Hughes tells us, it all began after the Civil War when soldiers came home, and were forced to travel the country to look for work. A convention for the hobos was held in Chicago every year, but they were looking for somewhere new. The founding fathers in Britt invited all hobos to their community, and a huge party was thrown for Onion Cotton in 1900. Since then, that party has taken place for 114 consecutive years.
“We celebrate what the American hobo did for this country. They built railroad systems, they built the courthouses, they worked the fields, they did any kind of job they could find, and we honor them, and we celebrate that lifestyle,” say Hughes.
Hobo Days festivities will run through Sunday.