The 71st annual Butler Farm Show begins Aug. 5
A rabbit hopping contest, a “moogician” and the world’s largest demolition derby are only the beginning. The 71st annual Butler Farm Show, which kicks off Aug. 5, features six days of agriculture-themed festivities that include costumed goats, log pulling, bee keeping and cheese auctions.
The 100-acre campus at 625 Evans City Road will be brimming with livestock, farm equipment, rides, crafts, food and one of the largest displays of antique tractors in Western Pennsylvania.
All that, while the sound of banjos and fiddles fill the air.
The fair runs 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. through Aug. 10.
Cost is $7 per person on Aug. 5 and $8 Aug. 6-10.
Children three and younger are admitted free unless they plan to ride.
Admission includes parking, unlimited midway rides (excluding the boat), all exhibits and entertainment. Event Secretary Sandie Lefever believes the family atmosphere is what draws the yearly crowd of more than 50,000 visitors.
“Our motto is that the Farm Show is a family tradition and it truly is,” she said. “A lot of the 4-H kids that show their animals have parents and grandparents that also participated in 4-H and showed their animals at the Farm Show.”
It all started with a plow in 1947 and grew into a family affair, organizers said.
The Butler Farm Show launched with meager beginnings — a plowing contest on the Jack Roe property in Meridian that was intended to “get city folks, businessmen and farmers together to better understand one another.”
It has grown so wildly successful that a board of directors oversees hundreds of committee members who work tirelessly year-round to plan the exhibits and entertainment.
(Next year’s show already is scheduled for Aug. 10-15.)
Today, the aim of the event holds true to the original mission.
Boasting more than 1,000 animals on display, people of all ages can get up close and personal with sheep, hogs, goats, rabbits, horses and cattle.
Daily exhibits where animals are judged for best-in-show stand alongside cheese and baked goods auctions and a pedal tractor pull for children.
With a focus on all things agricultural, the show provides daily demos on lead lining, threshing, robotics and tractor pulling.
Three special shows each day include: The Pork Chop Review, featuring pigs and tricks, located on the midway; The Moogician, a banjo-playing juggler, on the free stage by the Dairy Barn; and Kevin Adair, stilt walker, and Doug Drewes’ Ox Dynasty, strolling the grounds.
Other highlights of the week include a mini modified tractor pull on Aug. 5, draft horse and Haflinger single-hitch show on Aug. 6, an alpaca obstacle course, four-wheel drive pulling contest and barnyard Olympics, all on Aug. 7, the figure 8 races and the annual 4-H-FFA livestock sale on Aug. 8, the celebrity dairy showmanship on Aug. 9 and the fleece to shawl demonstration by the Butler Spinners & Weavers on Aug. 10.
Bluegrass music will be provided by The Allegheny Drifters and classic country rock by The Good Guyz Band, among others.
There will be a fiddling contest to round out the week.
For a complete schedule of activities, visit butlerfarmshow.com.