The Big E is back!

 The Big E is an essential trip for anyone looking to experience the culture of New England. (File/AP)

The Big E is an essential trip for anyone looking to experience the culture of New England. (File/AP)

The largest fair in New England has once again opened its gates to offer the public three weeks of delicious food, fascinating animals and various other forms of entertainment. The Big E, also known as The Eastern States Exposition, is located in West Springfield, Massachusetts and will be running from Sept. 14 to 30 this year. The epic fair has been an annual tradition during the last three weeks of September since 1916.

The Big E offers a variety of attractions and events to the public such as concerts, daily parades, carnival rides, a petting zoo and endless amounts of food. The fair is known for offering almost every type of fried food imaginable such as Oreos, jelly beans, Kool-Aid and butter just to name a few. Other common food items found among the vendors are BBQ pork, sausage and peppers, corn dogs, slushies and baked potatoes. If you’re interested in eating healthy you’re going to have to look a little harder, but there are definitely a few places that offer salads and grilled chicken.

All kinds of vendors, business and restaurants from across New England come to the Eastern States Exposition to showcase their products. One of the most popular attractions is the Avenue of States which includes a line of six buildings, one for each state in New England. The individual buildings try to embody the heritage and traditions from each state by exhibiting the most popular companies and food items. For example, the Connecticut building has big sections dedicated to Pez Candy and Lego. Undoubtedly, one of the stand-out items from the Avenue of States is the legendary Maine baked potato, which consistently has fair-goers lining up all the way outside to get theirs.

Coming from its agricultural roots, The Big E has a huge assortment of livestock and animals for people to admire. Daily horse shows are put on in The Big E Coliseum. In Mallary Complex, there is a wide variety of livestock and farm animals on display for the public. Goats, chickens, pigs, llamas, Clydesdale horses and sheep were some of the animals featured. The best part of visiting Mallary complex however was the two golden retriever puppies, Bo and Cricket, who everyone was able to pet and hang out with as they passed by.

Another one of the fair’s largest attractions is The Better Living Center which features vendors from across the region selling household goods, clothing and accessories. In a similar building across the way called The International Building, vendors sell items imported from other countries that are specifically tied to New England culture such as Ireland and Italy.

The Xfinity arena in the center of the fairgrounds hosts big name musicians each weekend. The 6,000 seat arena will be welcoming The Beach Boys on the final day of the festivities. Tickets are included with admission to the fair as long as they have been purchased before the date of the show.

Finally, the Midway section of the Big E is home to a wide variety of carnival rides and games. This carnival area is divide into two parts, one called “major land” which has the bigger rides and attractions. The other part is a “kiddie land” which has rides for the young fair-goers. Most notably a big Ferris wheel is located right in the middle of the Midway and seems to be one of the most popular rides. Some other rides include miniature roller coasters, Hyper Loop, Gravitron, Tilt and the Giant Wheel.

The Big E is an essential trip for anyone looking to experience the culture of New England. From the rides and the food, to the concerts and the animals, this fair has something to offer for everyone.


Matt Souvigney is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at matthew.souvigney@uconn.edu.