|Text on Button||CENTENNIAL Belle WAUKEGAN JUNE 19-27 1959|
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Waukegan, Illinois was founded in 1829 and reached cityhood by 1859. It is the 9th largest city in the State of Illinois and boasts a population of a little under 90,000 people. The citizens celebrated a Centennial festival in 1959 to commemorate the establishment of Waukegan as a city. The festival was shaping up to be a big deal in the city with some men even being encouraged to grow beards as a way to honor the city’s founders. Famous Waukegan resident Jack Benny, a comedian, was invited to attend the event as a promotional stunt to bring in a larger crowd. The event was held again in 2009 for the 150th anniversary of Waukegan.