Hobo FAQ

  1. What is a hobo?

That’s the million dollar question. The best description is a hobo is a migratory itinerate worker.


  1. Why do hobos hop trains?

Hobos hopped trains to find work back in the early and mid 20th century. Recently many hobos still hop trains for transportaion.


  1. Is it illegal?

Yes it is very illegal and EXTREMLY DANGEROUS. You could get injured or killed if you hop a train. Railroads have a zero-tolerance for train riders. They will put you in jail if you get caught.


  1. Can I hop a train to the convention?

Very few hobos travel by freight train to the convention. There is only sporadic freight service to Britt with only 2-3 trains a day passing by.


  1. What is there to do at the convention?

Aside from meeting the hobos, there is a flea market and carnival. Britt has an agricultural museum, a new aquatic center and an active downtown center. 


  1. Where can I stay?

The hobos generally stay at the hobo jungle located near the tracks. There are a few primitive campsites (no services) available in Britt. Motels are located in Garner, Clear Lake and Mason City. Check out the Lodging section of this website.


  1. Can I drink at the convention?

Public drinking is not allowed in Britt, IA. There are several taverns where one can eat and drink.


  1. Can I run for King of the Hobos?

Only a true rail-rider can run for King of the Hobos. Candidates are selected by a panel of former kings. The citizens of Britt elect the King during a ceremony on Saturday of the Convention


  1. How can I help out?

You can donate money or memorabilia to the Hobo Foundation. During Hobo Week, you can help out at the hobo jungle.


  1. Who can be buried in the Hobo Cemetery?

Kings and Queens of the hobos can be buried at no charge in the hobo cemetery. Friends of the hobos wishing to be interred at the hobo cemetery must make an application to the Hobo Foundation. The cost of interment will be the responsibility of the family