The University of Connecticut is gearing up for an exciting venture as it prepares to join the festivities at the annual Big E carnival. Scheduled for Sept. 23, commencing at 11 a.m., this grand event is set to unfold at 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA 01089.
Enthusiasts are eagerly anticipating the ticket release this Saturday, where it will be first-come, first-served. Tatyanah François, an environmental science major, expressed her excitement.“The Big E is loved by UConn due to its closeness and versatility. Not only is it fair season, but it’s also just an hour’s drive away,” François said.
She further emphasized, “It’s an experience — age, race and gender — anyone can find joy in attending the Big E.”
Running from Sept. 15 to Oct. 1, 2023, the Big E has a storied history of hosting legendary entertainers, such as Bob Hope, Roy Rogers, Liberace, Johnny Cash, Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child, Reba and Blake Shelton, as confirmed by theBigE.com.
In addition to its star-studded lineup, the event has an array of agricultural wonders, including “Farm-A-Rama,” featuring live animals, colossal crops, and inspiring landscape displays. The Big E is also a culinary event, with numerous food trucks offering treats like fried tacos and donuts.
Samantha Dougherty, a seventh-semester psychology major, attested to the event’s multifaceted appeal.
“The Big E is an enormous, incredibly fun affair with something for everyone. It’s the ideal destination for students looking to have an exciting day trip, as the hour-long drive is well worth the adventure,” Dougherty said.“While I do enjoy the rides, my main attraction to the Big E is the food. Everywhere you turn, there’s options, and it’s an absolute blast trying out the creative dishes some of the food trucks serve up. I particularly love exploring the state buildings, each offering food unique to its respective state. It’s fun to stroll through these structures and sample dishes that represent each state’s culinary heritage.”
The Big E features various state buildings, including those representing Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and more. These buildings showcase impressive replicas of each New England state’s original statehouse, situated on land owned by the respective state, as indicated by the event’s official website.
“I’ll make a beeline for any food truck offering fried Oreos. I had them for the first time at the Big E, and I’ve been hooked ever since,” Dougherty said.
Participating in the Big E can take various forms, as Dougherty explained, “I attended the Big E through my Greek life involvement. Many sororities organize sisterhood trips to the fair, creating a wonderful opportunity for everyone to come together and relish the festivities.”
In conclusion, the Big E is an outstanding carnival event, and the UConn community is eagerly anticipating their participation on Sept. 23.
As a final note of amusement, one visitor recalled, “There are a lot of quirky attractions at the Big E. I once paid a dollar to witness the ‘world’s smallest horse,’ only to discover it was just an average-sized miniature horse.”