TribLIVE

| AandE

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

From Bret Michaels to big rigs to animals, Big Butler Fair's 159th version has it all

Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Rebecca Claycomb (right), 15, laughs as she rides the Fire Ball with her brother Derek Claycomb, 18, both of Grove City, during the Big Butler Fair at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Prospect as dusk falls on Sunday, June 30, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>Rebecca Claycomb (right), 15, laughs as she rides the Fire Ball with her brother Derek Claycomb, 18, both of Grove City, during the Big Butler Fair at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Prospect as dusk falls on Sunday, June 30, 2013.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - A girl walks a horse by the decorated Renfew Riders 4-H Club stables during the Big Butler Fair at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Prospect on Sunday, June 30, 2013.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>A girl walks a horse by the decorated Renfew Riders 4-H Club stables during the Big Butler Fair at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Prospect on Sunday, June 30, 2013.
Getty Images for The D Las Vegas - LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 13: Singer Bret Michaels performs at the grand opening of The D Las Vegas celebration at the Fremont Street Experience on October 13, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for The D Las Vegas)
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Getty Images for The D Las Vegas</em></div>LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 13:  Singer Bret Michaels performs at the grand opening of The D Las Vegas celebration at the Fremont Street Experience on October 13, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for The D Las Vegas)
- Joe Diffie
Joe Diffie
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review - Riders on the Tilt-A-Whirl hold tight as the sun sets on the Big Butler Fair at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Prospect on Sunday, June 30, 2013. The fair predates the Civil War and is one of the three largest fairs in Pennsylvania.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review</em></div>Riders on the Tilt-A-Whirl hold tight as the sun sets on the Big Butler Fair  at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Prospect on Sunday, June 30, 2013. The fair predates the Civil War and is one of the three largest fairs in Pennsylvania.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Big Butler Fair

When: 9 a.m.-11 p.m. June 27-July 5. The carnival opens at 1 p.m. daily.

Admission: $7 before 4 p.m., $9 after 4 p.m., free for children younger than 2. All-day ride bands, which do not include admission, are $20.

Where: Big Butler Fairgrounds, 1127 New Castle Road, Prospect

Details: 724-865-2400 or www.bigbutlerfair.com

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Emma Deihle
Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
 

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 edeihle@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates trade for Mariners LHP Happ, Dodgers 1B/OF Morse
  2. Steelers notebook: Officials discuss new game ball procedures
  3. Hurdle: Soria likely to assume setup role with Watson
  4. Pirates place Burnett on 15-day disabled list
  5. Armstrong escapee caught; murder charges pending
  6. Gameday: Pirates at Cincinnati, Aug. 1, 2015
  7. Allegheny County DA’s office: Photo of staffer with gun evidence violates protocol
  8. MLB notebook: Mets boost lineup, acquire Cespedes from Tigers
  9. West Kittanning church marks 100 years of ups and downs
  10. Police: Lincoln-Lemington burglary suspect shoots self during foot chase with police
  11. Heyl: Longtime disc jockey Jimmy Roach to turn dismissal into brighter times