Celebrating Big Knob Grange Fair’s 76th year


The FHS “Big Red” Marching Band playing for the community on the first day of the fair, Aug. 28.

Sam Covalt, Asst. Editorial Editor

Aug. 30, with beautiful weather, a nearly clear sky and music in the background as one walked from one’s car to the fairgrounds, was the third day of the Big Knob Grange Fair.

Walking into the fairgrounds, food stands lined a street that ran straight through the center of the fair, where visitors were buying lemonade, hamburgers, fried Oreos and of course, funnel cakes… as well as the notorious “pickle-on-a-stick,” which had a total of four or five pickles sold.

Behind the stands were the rides and games, which varied from Dragon’s Wagon to multiple spinning rides to shark-fishing and ring-toss on knives.

Many people, young and old alike, came to the fair that day.

The Fair was first held in 1937 as an Indoor Circus. Then, in the fall of 1938, the fair was held again, but this time outdoors. The annual fair continued each year, with the exception of the years 1942-46 due to World War II. When construction of the new hall began in 1950, the fair was discontinued once more and was not held again until 1952. However, the fair has continued since, without interruption.

Every year, the fair is held for five days during the last week of August. The first day of the fair this year  — Tuesday, Aug. 28 — saw the judging of livestock, rabbit and poultry entries in the morning and early afternoon; and the evening was filled with the music of the FHS “Big Red” Marching Band. They played songs such as the National Anthem, “Bulldogs,” “Reeling in the Years,” “Dance to the Music” and others. FHS’s Marching Band was not the only musical entertainment that evening: the “Bobbie Dee & Moonlight Country Band” also starred onstage.

Wednesday, Aug. 29’s main event was the class reunions of 50s and 60s graduates, during which the Dining Room was open serving sandwiches and pie.

Thursday’s big events were mostly held in the evening and included entertainment from the band “Dream Machine,” an animal sale in the Livestock Arena and class reunions for70s and 80s graduates.

Friday’s events were all after noontime, but mostly, fair activity was low until around 4:00 pm, which was when the exhibit buildings opened. Friday’s live entertainment was given by the “Yankee Gray” band. At 7:00 pm the demolition derby began for small cars and mini-vans.

The fair ended on Saturday, Sept. 1, but it was the most lively of the five fair days. Starting at 9:00 in the morning, the fair began with a horse pull. Later that morning, there was a Princess and Scarecrow Parade. Many onstage performances were done as well: “Freddie the Music Man” came onstage, as well as “Butch Shrum.” In the evening, the “Crows Run Band” gave a live performance for the public. Finally, the demolition derby finale for large cars and six-cylinder small cars began at 7:00 p.m.

Saturday slowly came to an end, but the past days’ events still lingered in the air. Dusk closed in, but still the fair went on for one more night. Rides lit up the darkness, and music filled every silent corner.