122nd Big Rock Plow Match Is a Must-See Event Sept. 16-18

122nd Big Rock Plow Match Is a Must-See Event Sept. 16-18

One of the great events of the fall — and a Kane County tradition for more than a century — takes place this weekend in Big Rock, IL.

From Sept. 16 through Sept. 18, Big Rock will play host to the 122nd annual Plowing Match, a traditional competition based on Welsh heritage that began in 1894 under the direction of Big Rock farmers S.A. Chapman, W.D. Powell and Walter Scott.

Located just west of Aurora on IL Highway 30, the Big Rock Plowing Match is one of the longest running farm shows in America.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-3-44-45-pmActivities get under way with the carnival wristband night from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday, when the concession stand will be open selling hot dogs, chips and pop.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, a Western & English Horse Show takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Antique Steel and Rubber category plowing begins at 9:30 a.m., the Ladies Fair auction will be held on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and the Junior Fair auction at 1 p.m. The round bale roll-off will be at 4 p.m. Attendees can enjoy pork chop and chicken dinners from 5 B’s Catering of Waterman starting at 11:30 a.m. 

Following a community church service on Sunday, Sept. 18, 5 B’s Catering will provide a roast beef dinner this year, starting at 11 a.m. A watermelon-eating contest will takes place at 11 a.m. Plowing will resume at noon Sunday, and the 4-H Beef Show will begin at 1 p.m. The Prince and Princess Contest will be at 1:30 p.m. followed by the Big Rock Park District bingo at 2:30 p.m.

“A truly must see is our craft and art show,” organizers say in the plow show news release. “We have all types of hand crafted items, and we have over 50 vendors.”

The crafts and vendors show is held in the park.  If you enjoy a home town festival, you must visit The Big Rock Plowing Match.  Saturday, Sept. 17th, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 20th, 11 am to 4 pm.  For more information contact Dawn Stegall at 630-556-4949 or email dcsras6057@sbcglobal.net.

Again this year the prize winning entries of the Vegetable & Grain Show will be sold by silent auction. Stop by the tent frequently to place your bids. Winning bids will be determined at 1:00 pm Sunday and must be paid and picked up by 2:00 pm. All proceeds go to the Big Rock Plowing Match Association.

Other attractions this weekend include train rides, and horseshoe tournament.

For more information, visit WWW.BIGROCKPLOWINGMATCH.COM.

Quick Links


2016 Plowing Match Poster high-res

2016 Event Schedule


Bicycle Parade (begins at fire barn) 5:15 pm
Carnival “Wristband Night” 5:00-9:00 pm
Premier Entertainment by DJ Darrin Lee 5:00-9:00 pm
Olde Time Baseball 7:00 pm


Western & English Horse Show 8:30 am
Horseshoe Tournament 9:00 am
Drawing for Lands 9:00 am
Farmers Market Silent Auction 9:00 am
Plowing 9:30 am
Children’s Races (in the cattle ring) 11:00 am
5 B’s BBQ Pork Chop & Chicken Dinner 11:30 am-2:00 pm
Junior Fair Baked Goods Auction 1:00 pm
Ladies Fair Baked Goods Auction 1:30 pm
Pedal Tractor Pull (in the cattle ring) 2:30 pm
Plowing Trophy Presentation 3:30 pm
Round Bale Roll-off (in the cattle ring) 4:00 pm



Church Service 10:00 am
Drawing for Lands 10:30 am
5B’s Old Fashion Roast Beef Dinner 11:00 am-1:30 pm
Watermelon Eating Contest 11:00 am-1:00 pm
Plowing Noon
Farmers Market Silent Auction (End) 1:00 pm
4-H Beef Show (in the cattle ring) 1:00 pm
Prince and Princess Contest 1:30 pm
BINGO – Big Rock Park District (pavilion) 2:30 pm
4-H Beef Auction (in the cattle ring) 3:00 pm
Plowing Trophy Presentation 4:30 pm



Friday – 5:00-9:00 pm Friday – 5:00-9:00 pm
Saturday – noon-5:00 pm Saturday – 7:30 am-5:00 pm
Sunday – noon-close Sunday – 8:00 am-5:00 pm
*wristbands available Friday & Saturday


Saturday – 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Sunday – 11:00 am-4:00 pm