Fairgrounds Building Rentals

Richards Building

100ft x 122ft


Home of the:

  • Craft Fair
  • Auctions
  • Expos
  • Beefsteak Dinner
  • Dog shows
  • Festivals


During the Fair the Richards Building houses:


  • Art in Sussex County Art Show
  • Photography in Sussex County Photography Show
  • Honey Show and Exhibits including live bee demo by Sussex County Beekeepers
  • Grange Exhibits
  • Fair History Committee Exhibits
  • Creative Arts for Home and Hobby- canning, baking, crafts, Quilts of Valor, demonstrations, Hobby Weekend


Richards Building Renovation Project



To Benefit The Richards Building Renovation Project


It is the wish of husband JC Cowell that anyone who would like to make a donation of any size to the project that Debbie was so dedicated to could have the opportunity. Therefore if you were her friend, co-worker or want to support this project that meant so much to her, you may do so by sending donation to the Fair Office.


Please make donations payable to:


The New Jersey State Fair (with Richards Building Project on Memo line)

Mail to: New Jersey State Fair, PO Box 2456, Branchville, NJ 07826 and include your name and address so we may thank you.


Thank you very much. 

The Richards Building Fundraising Committee


Contact the Fair to find other ways to donate now!

Please do NOT provide credit card info on the Contact form.


Does your organization need a space for an event that's convenient and well-known? A space that's available any month you choose? Perhaps your family needs a place for a reunion, or a landmark birthday? The Richards Building Renovation Committee is working to provide such a venue at the Sussex County Fairgrounds by upgrading the "big blue building" to accommodate events year round.


The Richards Building is the 40-year-old building which houses so many exhibits during the Fair. The only building in existence when the Fair came to Plains Road, the Richards Building is used heavily throughout the year as well as Fair week by many groups. Included in these groups are a number of non-profit organizations. All of this takes its toll on the facility.


Richards Bldg exterior view

                                                    Existing Richards Building


Aerial View of Richard's Bldg

    Proposed Addition Elevation                                                         





July, 2017


A new 2,000 sq. ft. addition has just been finished to the Richards Building and the new RED siding indicates big changes to come. Display items formerly stored inside will now be placed there after the fair is over, leaving more floor space in the main building. Phase 2 is now complete. Right after the 2017 Fair is over, construction will be started on Phase 3, the main building itself. Major improvements will be made: new barn red exterior siding & thicker insulation, better& quieter fans, LED lighting, added windows for improved interior light, new doors and lastly, new flooring. Most important of all will be the addition of radiant heating for year-round use of the building. Year-round usage will happen.


The above would not be possible without the hard work and commitment by the Richards Building (Fundraising) Committee, which was appointed by Fair president Harold Pellow in the Fall of 2015. Since that time, this group of 12 people have raised money by organizing fundraisers, many planned for coming years until the project is paid for. With the boost of a $100,000 matching grant from an anonymous donor, the committee has raised more than $224,000. A second Artisan Faire will be held next May 4th to will continue to raise money. The first one this April was an astounding success, as was the first-ever drive-in Clothing Drive, created by Julia Richards, a great-granddaughter of Walter Richards after whom the building was named. The next will be held on October 28th.


The “100 Diamonds Fund” was created by Project Coordinator Lois Pellow to raise money for this capital project. Its main goal is to acquire donors of $1,000 or more, who receive public recognition and other benefits for their support and generosity. Thus far, 56 donors have given almost $120,000, in addition to $15,000 in signed pledges.  Community support has shown that people want to help renovate the NJ State Fair’s oldest, largest and most versatile building for the community. More donors are always welcome. Contact the fair office.


100 Diamond Donors are being recognized on two Donor Boards on the Richards Building. Take a good look at the many wonderful people and groups that have stood behind this project and thank them for their amazing community spirit. Also view the DVD on the project in the Fair History exhibit. It shows how this project is evolving and the contractors and volunteers who are part of it. It’s how every fairgrounds capital project gets done in the old-fashioned way of working together for a common cause. Look for lots of improvements to the Richards Building in the coming year. A brand-new building will be seen.



interior shot of painted building         workmen pouring cement near a bay door



Thank you to the 100 Diamonds Fund Donors


(As of June 20, 2017)






Anonymous Donor




Selective Insurance Group Foundation

In Memory of Margaret Hait

Harold E Pellow & Associates




Sussex County Beekeepers

Art In Sussex County

Springfest Garden Show

The Lange Family (Rob, Denise, Brian, Sean & Nicole)

Home & Hobby Committee

In Memory of Thomas J Bain




CKW Advisors, LLC




Advanced Group.Net


Aldo & Nancy Sayre

Harold & Lois Pellow

Steve & Lynn Okeson

Sparta Kiwanis

Fair History Committee

Mary & Paul Emilius

Kennel Club of Northern New Jersey

Peggy Cofrancesco

Charles Schaffer Associates

Sussex County Horse Show

Brian & Rosamond Lockwood

Lakeland Bank

Beverly & Bruce Gordon

Dr Scott J Ruvo

Sussex County 4-H Teen Council

Doris & Howard Worts

Ronald & Denise Stagnari

Newton Kennel Club

In Memory of Lois Chammings by the Ag Division

C&W Aero Services

Lois Chammings Memorial Fund

Elenora L Benz

The Ruggiero Family/Iliff Ruggiero Funeral Home

Brodhecker Farm

Tri State Insurance Agency

The Chatterbox

Sussex County 4-H Rabbit Clubs/In Memory of Lois Chammings

Granges of Sussex County

Julia Richards & Family

Partridge Ridge Farm

Ralph Anthony

North Jersey Antique Engine & Machine Club

Deacon Homes, Inc

Daniel & Carolyn Kent & Family

Carol Decker/Wildlife Art Studio

Barbara O'Neill

Garden State Koi/Ponds & Waterfalls

Sam Castimore

Sussex County Amateur Radio Club

William & Laura Cowan/Willco AC, Htg & Refrig

Newton Rotary Club

Branchville Rotary Foundation

Don & Julie Becker

David Wright, Landscape Architect

In Memory of Thomas J Bain, Our Partner & Friend

In Memory of Debbie Cowell




Frank Flood, Jr/World's Best Sundae

Lois H Wright

Hollander, Strelzik, Pasculli, Pasculli, Vandenberg & Hontz, LLC

Richard L Martin

Jacob & Lorraine Perry





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