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Friends of Carl Sandburg Home Announces Hobo Ball


All are invited to the annual Hobo Ball at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site...except, perhaps, for the goats, which will have to stay out back in the field. Photo by Danny Bernstein.

Every unit of the National Park System, regardless of its size, needs friends - a group that will raise money for all the activities that can't be funded by the National Park Service.

The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site thrives in part because of its friends group - The Friends of Carl Sandburg. This organization supports diverse and growing educational programming for school groups and a writer-in-residence program. This past spring Poet Christina Lovin resided in the Historic Farm Manager’s House and served as the Inaugural Carl Sandburg Writer-in-Residence.

The friends group's major fundraiser, the Hobo Ball, will feature dinner, entertainment and an auction on Saturday, September 11, at the Kenmure Country Club in Flat Rock, North Carolina. The theme for the evening honors Mr. Sandburg’s youth and his time exploring our country as a hobo. He worked as a laborer on farms and railroads and this experience helped define his life-long interest in working people and shaped his writings.

Proceeds from the event enable the Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara to support the historical, literary, educational, and interpretive activities of the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. Among these activities are the annual student poetry contest, the Folk Music Festival, summer education interns, and the Carl Sandburg Writer-in-Residence program.

“The Friends have consistently been there in funding the site’s education programs and developing the Carl Sandburg Writer-in-Residence. Their support is critical to ensuring school groups, families and all who visit have an enjoyable and meaningful experience,” says Connie Backlund, park superintendent.

Superintendent Backlund shares that her favorite part of the site "is the sense of tranquility that it offers for those who visit. Coming here is like stepping back into the time the Sandburgs lived here from 1945 -1967. You feel as if the family is still here and will return any moment from a hike up to Big Glassy Mountain."

Dress for the Hobo Ball is casual, and certainly denim is popular. The last event included many guests in hobo attire complete with knapsacks! Tickets are $75 per person and seating is limited.

For information or to secure reservations, please contact Kathleen Hudson at 828-698-5208 or Jan Spicka at 828-891-1606. Additional information is also available at

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