We call it the world's largest
outdoor pork barbecue. And for good reason. First, there
are the custom-made 24 foot long grills. Next we add over 8
thousand pounds of premium grade charcoal. Then we have an
army of volunteers, many involved in one aspect or another of the
pork industry, many more who are just plain GOOD at grilling.
They use over 300 pounds of our "special" Hog Days seasoning powder
and go about throwing some meat on the barbie. But let's talk
We serve between 30 thousand and 32
thousand butterfly chops and pork burgers in a little under 30
hours over Hog Fest weekend (the grills are in operation from 5 to 9
PM on Friday; 11 AM to 9 PM on Saturday and Sunday; and 11AM
to 5 PM on Monday). That works out to about a thousand sandwiches
(or more) an hour every hour without stop all the time the grills
in operation. Depending on peak demand, a
lot more than a thousand pieces of meat in some of those hours
around lunch and supper time! Talk about trusting that it will
all work out!
But what happens if it rains?
Or it's cold? Or people don't show up for their shift?
Or someone's feet hurt from standing too long? Well, as they
say: "the show must go on" and somehow it does and so
far it has for 63 consecutive years. By the way, that's two
MILLION sandwiches served so far! And we haven't even touched on
(although they have our undying gratitude and admiration as well)
the next wave of volunteers...all the folks who make and bag those 30-some
thousand sandwiches, sell the tickets and deliver sandwiches to
those incapacitated in elder-care and rest homes. Oh, and did
we mention it's not only a weekend but also a
weekend and most of these volunteers have regular
fulltime jobs and families to tend to just like everyone else but they don't
mind giving up some their personal time to do something nice for
their community so that friends and neighbors and visitors can have
something fun to do for the last holiday of the summer? And just
when you thought there was no hope for the world, here come the Hog
Days volunteers. Truly, at this point we become humbled and
speechless and hope these folk know how great a role they play in
the success of our community's celebration.
So there you have it. The Big "Q!"
Come visit us in Kewanee over Labor Day weekend. It's one of
many things our community and surrounding area do way beyond well!