Located in Cobb County, Kennesaw is a suburb of Atlanta. It was originally known as "Big Shanty," but its name was eventually changed to "Kennesaw" as a tribute to the area's Kennesaw Mountain and Little Kennesaw Mountain.
Like many Southern cities (especially those around the Atlanta region), Kennesaw played a strategically important role during the American Civil War. Kennesaw's location caused it to be an ideal place for Confederate armies to witness battles and prepare troops. In 2004, former First Lady Laura Bush designated Kennesaw a "Preserve America Community," cementing its importance as an important national treasure.
Kennesaw encompasses a land area of 8.5 square miles, the majority of which is land-based. Being in the "Deep South" has its benefits from a climate perspective: the average high/low temperatures in January are comfortable at approximately 50/30 degrees, respectively. Summers in Kennesaw do get a bit balmy at approximately 90/68 degrees in July with humidity levels of close to 90 percent.
The well-respected magazine Family Circle named Kennesaw as one of the "10 Best Towns for Families" in its August 2007 issue, citing the city's affordable housing, excellent employment, high-ranking public schools and overall appeal.
Major industries in the city are educational, health and social services, and retail trade. Kennesaw began as a center of transportation, though now it is primarily a bedroom community for Atlanta. Still, it does have a thriving economy of its own, no doubt in part related to its proximity to Atlanta and its availability to international commerce via many airports in the area. Some of the top Kennesaw employers include Brand Energy Infrastructure Services, Heidelberg USA Inc., Chase Card Services, U.S. Axminster Inc., Pacesetter Steel Service Inc., and Ryla Teleservices Inc.
Kennesaw has a population of 31,610. The city accommodates around 8,762 houses with 8,196 houses occupied. Renters occupy around 1,520 houses and owners occupy about 6,680 houses.
Kennesaw has a number of popular neighborhoods and subdivisions:
Town Center at Cobb: One of the largest shopping venues in Kennesaw, the Town Center at Cobb offers residents and tourists the opportunity to patronize a number of shops and restaurants. The Center was renovated in 2008.
Kennesaw State University: The third largest university in the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State University offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. The school was founded in 1963 on a campus that encompasses 240 acres and features a 4,800-seat Convocation Center.
Kennesaw Big Shanty Festival: Held in April each year, the Kennesaw Big Shanty Festival is one of the largest events of its type in the region. It begins with a parade through the downtown area and spans two days. It is a family-friendly celebration of the city's past, present, and future and is supported by local businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Kennesaw offers wireless Internet throughout Swift-Cantrell and Adams Parks. Hence, visitors and residents can conceivably conduct business anywhere in the city, including in the middle of Kennesaw's picturesque recreational spots.