336 Grange Road • New Sewickley Township • Rochester, PA 15074 • 724.774.7093

74th Annual Big Knob Grange Fair
August 30 - September 3, 2016

"We Have Good Things Growing"

The showplace of Agriculture, Horticulture, Home Arts, Entertainment, Food and More!

Exhibits | Contests | Entry Forms | Rules | Committees | Fair History



New Exhibits Return For Third Year
We are proud to announce that the two Departments added to our Fair will continue in 2016.   Department 16 is for the use of evergreens to make wreaths, and Department 21 is for homemade wine entries.

Two types of evergreen wreaths will be accepted: decorated and undecorated. Both must be made using fresh evergreen boughs.  See the rules under Department 16 for more information.

Six classes of wine will be accepted for judging.  There is a special entry time and date – Wednesday, August 24, from 6 – 8 P.M. for this Department only. The judging will be on Thursday September 1, at 1:00 p.m. The wine “bottles” will be on display during the fair with the ribbons attached. See Department 21 for all rules and class listing.

Wednesday, August 24
6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Wine entries due at Ramp Entrance

Sunday, August 28
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Club display and entries due in basement of the Main Hall - rear entrance.

Monday, August 29
9:00 a.m. – Judging of 4-H displays and entries. Closed to public.

2:00 - 5:00 and 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. – Agriculture and Home Economics exhibits accepted for Departments 11, 13-19, and 23 in the Bingo Pavilion.

2:00 - 5:00 and 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. – Hay and grain exhibits for Department 12 accepted at the Livestock Barns.

6:00 p.m. - Mandatory meeting of all horse exhibitors at the barn.

6:00 – 9:00 p.m. – Big Knob Livestock Club market and breeding animals accepted. Weigh in for all, and walk through for steers.

7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Rabbit entries accepted at the Barns

Tuesday, August 30
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Livestock entries accepted at the Livestock Barns.

9:00 a.m. – Judging of Agriculture and Home Economic exhibits. Closed to the public.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. – Chocolate cakes (ONLY) accepted at the ramp entrance.

10:00 a.m. - Rabbit Judging at the Barn

2:00 p.m. - Poultry Judging at the Barn

4:00 p.m. — Exhibit Buildings and Tents open to the public.

5:00 p.m. - Dairy Goat Judging at the Barn

7:00 p.m. – Livestock judging at the Livestock Arena

Wednesday, August 31
3:00 p.m. – Livestock judging at the Livestock Arena

4:00 p.m. — Exhibit Buildings and Tents open to the public.

5:30 p.m. – Department 24 Judging at the Antique Farm Equipment Area

Thursday, September 1
9:30 a.m. – Dairy Cattle Judging at the Livestock Arena. Open to the public.

4:00 p.m. — Exhibit Buildings and Tents open to the public.

6:30 p.m. -  Big Knob Livestock Club Awards at the Arena.

7:00 p.m. – Big Knob Livestock Market Animal Sale at the Livestock Arena.

Friday, September 2
4:00 p.m. - Exhibit Buildings and Tents open to the public.

Saturday, September 3
Noon — Exhibit Buildings and Tents open to the public.

9:30 - 11:00 p.m. — Exhibits released for all departments.

Sunday, September 4
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. — Exhibits in Departments 13 - 19 may be claimed.

Antique Tractor Club at Fair

The Big Knob Antique Tractor and Equipment Association will be making its twenty first appearance this year at the Big Knob Grange Fair. Association members will be displaying restored antique tractors and equipment, plus model tractors, antique tools, literature and other items related to mechanized farming from years ago.  Look for us to the left of the outdoor stage on the upper Grange grounds.

The BKATEA will be doing a raffle again this year. Tickets can be purchased to win a
Ford pedal tractor, or one of three model tractors at our display area. The winning tickets
will be drawn for the raffle Saturday night at the conclusion of the Fair as usual.

The Big Knob Antique Tractor and Equipment Association was established in 1996 and has more than 200 members mostly from the Beaver County area. The purpose of the BKATEA is “to promote the interrelated hobbies of antique farm and industrial equipment collection, repair, restoration, presentation and demonstration.” Besides participating in the annual Big Knob Grange Fair, the Association does an annual antique tractor show (this year scheduled for September 16, 17 and 18) and schedules up to 6 tractor pulls each year at the Grange track. BKATEA members will be running the Antique and Stock Tractor Pull Saturday morning at the Fair. Admission to the bleachers will be free for this event.

If you want to become a member of the BKATEA, sign up at the display area. Dues are $15 per year. The Association currently meets at the Grange the third Monday evening of each month.

The members of BKATEA invite everyone to come to the free Big Knob Grange Fair this year and take in all of the sights, including our exhibit.

For further information, please call Wayne Harley, BKATEA Secretary, at 724-846-1808.



Some of the baking contests have new requirements. The use of “PA Preferred” ingredients should be used in the Chocolate Cake (Department 15) and Chocolate Cookie (Department 11) contests, as well as the Angel Food Cake (Department 15) contest.  Go to www.PAPreferred.com for local places to purchase PA Preferred items.

Greatest Apple Pie Contest

This contest is open to any individual who lives in Pennsylvania. One entry only per person is permitted. The whole pie must be submitted for judging in a disposable pie pan. Rules and judging criteria are found in Department 15. The pie must be at least 60% apples in the filling. Any pie that needs refrigeration after baking will not be accepted due to food safety reasons.

Entries will be accepted Monday from 2 to 5 p.m. and from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Bingo Pavillion. The recipe must accompany the entry and must be typed or printed on one side of a card. Pies will be judged on overall appearance, color, flavor, texture, creativity, and doneness of the filling.

The first place winner is eligible to enter in next year's Pennsylvania Farm Show competition in this contest.

PA Preferred Chocolate Cake

The chocolate cake contest is open to any Pennsylvania resident. An entry must be a layered chocolate cake made from scratch and frosted. Cakes needing refrigeration will not be accepted. The recipe(s) must be typed or printed on one side of a card and must accompany the cake.

Prizes are: First, $25; Second, $20, Third, $15. Cakes will be accepted on Monday afternoon and evening from 2:00 to 4:00, and from 6:00 to 9:00, and Tuesday morning from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

Entry forms and further information are found in Department 15 below. The first place winner is eligible to enter the Pennsylvania Farm Show competition in Harrisburg next year in January.

NOTE CHANGE IN CHOCOLATE BAKING CONTESTS The Chocolate Cake and the Chocolate Cookies/Brownie contests are now sponsored by PA Preferred™ Products, and the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs. Exhibitors are encouraged to use as “many PA Preferred™ products” as possible in the recipe, and list them accordingly when bringing the recipe to the Fair. Cream, milk, and eggs produced by Marburger Farms in our area meet the requirement.

Angel Food Cake

Any individual who is a Pennsylvania resident may enter this contest. Entrants may not have won first place in this Angel Food Cake contest at any other fair in the same year. Entry must be an Angel Food Cake made from “scratch”.

Pennsylvania produced and packed eggs are requested to be used if at all possible. Look for the PEQAP or PA Preferred logo or PA packaging dates on the carton. Bring carton to the fair with the cake. Cakes that require refrigeration will not be accepted.

Prizes are: First, $25; Second, $15, Third, $10. Entry forms and further information are found in Department 15 below. First place winner is eligible to compete at the PA Farm Show. Prizes at the Farm Show are $500, $250, and $100. Sponsors: PA Egg Farmers and PA State Association of County Fairs.

Livestock Costume, Horse Costume and Animal Hay Eating Contests

Saturday, September 3 at 6:00 p.m. in the Livestock Arena
First Place:$10, 2nd:$8, 3rd:$6, 4th:$4
See Department 22 for complete rules.

Back Again! – Farm Olympics
Saturday afternoon – Time to be announced

Each team must have 6 participants to compete against other teams. The Team is free to select a “G” rated name and wear t-shirts that are the same color. There will be seven (7) events for all to see which Team (Family) is the best farm family. Events will be posted Saturday morning. Each member of the Team must participate in at least one event, and 1 event will be for all members of the Team. Time for the event will be determined by the number of Teams that enter. Enter the Farm Olympics by calling Gina at 724 462 4984 and register your Team name and color. No substitutions permitted. This is a timed event.

First – GOLD, Second – SILVER, Third – BRONZE, special prize for last place!


Entry Forms

click on the form to
download and print

Antique Farm Machinery and Small Hand Tool
Entry Form

Entry Form – Department 13, 14

Entry Form – Department 15, 17, 18, 19

Big Knob Has Talent Entry Form



Department 11 – Youth under 19

Department 12 – Hay and Grain

Department 13 - Vegetables

Department 14 – Fruits and Nuts

Department 15 – Home and Dairy Products

Department 16 - Evergreens

Department 17 – Floral Exhibits

Department 18 - Needlecraft

Department 19 – Art, Photography and crafts

Department 21 - Homemade Wine

Department 22 - Contests

Department 23 – Apiary Products

Department 24 — Antique Farm Equipment

Fair History

An Indoor Circus fair was held in December of 1937. In September of 1938, the first outdoor Fair was held and realized a profit of $252.20.  The Annual Fair was held each September.  On July 15, 1942, it was voted not to hold a Fair that year, due to the national Emergency (World War II).  The Fair was not held again until September of 1946.  It continued from this time, with the permanent date of the week-end before Labor Day, being established, January 18, 1950.

The Fair was discontinued again, for the years 1950 and 1951, due to the construction of the new hall.  It has continued, each year since 1952, until the present time.  After the war, a Fair Committee was appointed by the Master to serve for three years.  Two members were dropped, each year and two new members appointed.  For several years, a car was raffled as a fund raiser.  Many new buildings have been added to the Fairgrounds over the years, with the track area being re-constructed in the last couple of years and the new bleachers added.  A feature of the early Fairs was a horse-shoe pitching contest.  The Fair presently runs for five days, under the supervision of an Executive Board and has an estimated attendance of 40,000.



The Fair is conducted by Big Knob Grange on their property in New Sewickley Township.
336 Grange Road, Rochester PA 15074 (just off Big Knob Road, and State Route 68)
A member of the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs


Photos courtesy of Kiley McCarthy
and sxc stock photos