From Bret Michaels to big rigs to animals, Big Butler Fair's 159th version has it all
For some, the biggest draws to the Big Butler Fair are the carnival rides or the big-name acts that perform each year, but vice president Ben Roenigk acknowledges the importance of one of the fair's staple attractions: the animals.
“Without the animals, we'd just be a big carnival,” he says.
Roenigk, whose favorite events are the horse pulls July 4, says this year's fair will feature several new animal-focused programs sure to educate and entertain.
In addition to the annual animal judging, daily attractions like the Gator Boys from Animal Planet and kids show Agricadabra will give visitors the chance to engage with animals directly. There also will be a petting zoo open every day and camel rides — a new offering this year.
All traditional grandstand events will be back for the fair's 159th year as well.
Everything kicks off June 27 with Annual Bike Night — motorcyclists can ride their bikes through the West Gate and park right on the track for $5. Pittsburgh rockers The Clarks will perform at 7 that night.
Event highlights June 28 include the Antique Tractor Pull at 1 p.m., the 4x4 & Diesel Truck Pull at 2 p.m., the “Smoker Series” Tractor Pull at 7 p.m. and the Swing Your Partner Square Dance at 8 p.m.
The School Bus Demolition Derby on June 29, always a big hit according to Roenigk, will begin at 7 p.m. The metal crushing continues with the Giant Auto Demolition Derby at 7 p.m. June 30. Four-wheel drive, big-rig and semi-truck pulls will take place at 7 p.m. July 1 and 3.
Big Butler fairgoers will welcome home Bret Michaels, a Butler native, for Bret Michaels' Day on July 2. Michaels will give a free concert at 7 p.m.; motorcyclists can enjoy another bike night.
“We've had some great ones, but this might be the biggest night we've ever had,” Roenigk says. “(Michaels) has helped promote it, too. He's excited.”
Fourth of July celebrations include the Freestyle Motocross Cycle Show at 8 p.m. and the explosive Shively Fireworks show beginning at dusk.
The annual Y108 Freedom Fest starring country artist Joe Diffie will close the fair July 5. Diffie is known for his ballads and No. 1 singles like “Home,” “If the Devil Danced (in Empty Pockets)” and “Third Rock From the Sun.” He also has co-written and recorded with artists like Tim McGraw, Mary Chapin Carpenter and George Jones.
Singer-songwriter Charee White of Worthington, Armstrong County, will open the Freedom Fest. Visitors are encouraged to participate in Jeep Night, new to the fair, which operates the same as bike night. Gates open at 6 p.m.
Emma Deihle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins eliminated with Game 5 overtime loss to Rangers
- VA secretary: Special advisory board will help fix system’s problems
- Cole shuts down Diamondbacks as Pirates open road trip with victory
- Rossi: Crosby, Malkin didn’t sign on for this
- Penguins’ Malkin: ‘We’re not a championship team’
- Pitt introduces Barnes as athletic director
- Pitt lands shooting guard from Coppin State
- Pirates notebook: McCutchen unfazed by return to Arizona
- Couple hope Connellsville shop will attract trail users
- Trail preparation commences in Connellsville
- Penguins notebook: Lovejoy says individual play is problematic