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How To Become King Or Queen Of The Hoboes

Even YOU can be King or Queen of the Hoboes! Just follow these simple steps.

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King candidates must be currently riding or have ridden the rails for at least 5 years, attended the Hobo Convention at least 3 times, be screened by a committee, and not have been King in the past 3 years.


Queens must have attended the Hobo Convention 3 times, and actively contribute to the betterment of the hobo community. Queens DO NOT have to ride the rails, and will not be screened.


Make sure Britt, Iowa, knows your name!

The King and Queen is determined by both hoboes and the people of Britt, Iowa. Anyone who attends the Hobo King and Queen ceremony can "vote" because voting is done by applause. The candidate with the loudest applause wins.


The candidates sit in a gazebo before they give their speech. Make sure you sit next to someone important.

Hobo Lump is a legend. She's the oldest living Hobo Queen. This was a good move for Minneapolis Jim.

Sing along to the National Anthem.

The election of the Hobo King and Queen begins with the singing of the National Anthem by the Serenity Sisters. All 3 Serenity Sisters are former Hobo Queens.

The Serenity Sisters sing the complete version of the National Anthem, the version with 4 extra verses.

Bonus points to candidates who knew the extra verses of the National Anthem

DON'T try anything funny.

Graincar George tried to play his drum after his speech. This doesn't fly at the hobo election and he was quickly shushed away to his seat by the master of ceremony.

Congratulations! You are a hobo legend. You will go down in history as a Hobo King or Queen. Once a Hobo King or Queen, always a Hobo King or Queen.

All photos by Matt Stopera


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