The Iowa State Fair isn’t the only big event kicking off in the Hawkeye State tomorrow. The Hancock County town of Britt is hosting its centennial edition of the National Hobo Convention. Lisa Christianson is executive director of the Britt Chamber of Commerce. She says the term hobo is the same as a bum to some people, but she says that’s not accurate and is offensive to the 80-some actual hoboes who will be at the event. Christianson says the hobo way of life dates back many decades to when the railroads first linked pioneer towns and villages. She says the name comes from the days when they carried around hoes looking for work.Christianson says most hoboes are very considerate, hard-working and leave a place cleaner than they found it — they’re just taken by the traveling spirit. While the Hobo Convention is a gathering for the hoboes themselves, she says people are welcome to check out the “Hobo Jungle” where all the hoboes will be living during the four day festival.The Chamber of Commerce is also hosting an art exhibit featuring the portraits of every set of Hobo Kings and Queens since the first convention in Britt back in 1900.
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