In the Fall the New England Great State Fair comes to West Springfield Massachusetts which is called The Eastern States Exposition (aka The Big E) in September. For 17 Days of Food, Fun, and all type of Attractions. All six New England States have a Replica of its state building on the Avenue of States and Carnival rides, The Big E Horse Show, The Big E Circus, all types of farm animals, all type of different Foods from around the World
The Eastern States Exposition Admission (2022)
BEST VALUE! FULL SEASON PASS 17-DAY ADMISSION ADULTS – $50 CHILDREN (6-12) – $20
AT THE GATE – SEPT. 16 – OCT. 2 ADULTS – $15 CHILDREN (6-12) – $10 5 & UNDER – FREE GATE DISCOUNTS OPENING DAY – SEPT. 16 Be A Kid For A Day – All ages $10 (also sold online)
Military Appreciation Day – ID required for free admission for: – Active duty and retired military personnel – Dependents of active duty military personnel – Veterans (no dependents)
EIGHT-AFTER-FIVE – $8 after 5pm Sunday – Thursday
SENIOR DAYS Sponsored by Uncommon USA – $12 (60 and over) Sunday – Thursday
The History Of The Eastern States Exposition (aka The Big E)
Eastern States Exposition, home of The Big E, has presented the finest livestock, the most innovative commercial, industrial and artistic developments, and the highest caliber of varied entertainment to the people of the Northeastern United States for more than a century. More than one million people now attend the 17 day Big E, an annual autumn extravaganza of entertainment, exhibits and agriculture – the culmination of a visionary idea first expressed by Joshua L. Brooks at the beginning of the 20th century.
Brooks knew that farming in New England was on the decline and that production costs were soaring. His hope was to create an Exposition that would provide demonstrations of new farming methods and establish competitive awards which would inspire farmers and their children to produce more efficiently and sponsor cooperative purchasing that would lower the farmers’ costs. Above all, Brooks believed in developing and showcasing an agricultural New England.
Working with twelve community leaders, Brooks spearheaded the purchase of 175 acres of former swampland in West Springfield. It took less than eight months to construct the Coliseum and cattle barns. The site was ready.
A group of determined New England businessmen went to Chicago and convinced the executive body of the National Dairy Show to hold their annual extravaganza in West Springfield instead of its traditional home, the Midwest. In 1916, this National Dairy Show was the first event held on the Exposition Grounds. It also marked the first time the show was held east of Chicago.
In the spring of 1917, 122 of the nation’s foremost manufacturers presented their products at the Industrial and Export conference in Exposition Park. And, in the fall of that same year, the very first Eastern States Exposition was opened to the public. A total of 138,000 people gathered at what would become an enduring tradition: the annual September event now known as The Big E, “New England’s Autumn Tradition.” To this day, that tradition has been interrupted only by two World Wars.
Some of the biggest names from the past and present, as well as those on their way to the top, grace The Big E Arena stage, sponsored by TRULY. Sing, dance and sway to your favorite acts underneath the stars in this open-air 7,000-seat outdoor arena. such as Reba McEntire, Clint Black, George Jone, The Judds, Willie Nelson, Destiny’s Child, Jessica Simpson, Chubby Checker and many others
Joshua Brooks wanted the Exposition to be a truly regional event. He believed that to achieve this, each of the six New England states should construct a building that could display both its character and its products. The Avenue of the States was born.
Massachusetts contributed a replica of the Boston State House in 1919. This was followed by buildings from Maine and then Vermont. In the 1930’s, both New Hampshire and Connecticut contributed their structures and in 1958, Rhode Island finished its building. An interesting fact about this famous Avenue is that each state owns its building and the land the structure is built upon. Thus, visitors to the Exposition can literally stroll through all six New England States. And, as they travel, they can sample both the architectural style and the traditional foods and wares that exemplify each state.
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STORROWTON VILLAGE MUSEUM
Another unique feature of Eastern States Exposition is Storrowton Village Museum, an Early American village of the 1700s and 1800s. In 1926, Boston philanthropist and Exposition trustee Helen Osborne Storrow began her search for an early New England building to house her Home Department at the Exposition.
“No longer is the home department the poor little Cinderella of the Exposition, housed in temporary buildings,” wrote an elated Mrs. Storrow in 1930. This ambitious and generous woman eventually donated nine buildings – each an original structure from the various New England states – that all date between 1767 and 1850. Storrowton is open to visitors year-round as a historical museum and is the site of special events and educational “Living History” programs for school children.
Many of the nation’s finest craftspeople and artisans exhibit their work in Craft Common on the back green of Storrowton Village and along Hampden Avenue. On the Village green, visitors will find 19th century craft demonstrators as well as family entertainment on the gazebo. Traditional Early American crafts and chores are demonstrated within the historic buildings that comprise the Village.
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During The Big E, more than 25 breeds of cattle, sheep, goats and hogs are on display in livestock events. Breeders from all over the country and from other nations enter their animals in this, the largest livestock show in the East. The title, “Eastern States Exposition Grand Champion,” is the coveted prize at stake.
In addition to the livestock shows, New England traditions such as pulling contests and cow milking can be experienced at The Big E. The preservation of the New England states’ agricultural land is also encouraged through live exhibits and “hands on” demonstrations of farming techniques and innovations. The Avenue of Agriculture showcases animals and informative exhibits on agriculture and its uses in daily life.
One of the oldest and most prestigious in the country, the Eastern States Exposition Horse Show is an eagerly-anticipated event. Additional equine events include the 4-H Horse Show and the Draft Horse Show.
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The Big E Amusement Park Rides
The Big E 2022 Attendance
The Big E attracts more than a million visitors to West Springfield. The attendance for 2021 had a total of 1,498,774 visitors. The all-time highest single-day attendance was also broken on Saturday, October 1, 2021 when 177,238 visitors attended.
Take a look at the daily tally for attendance each day in 2022.
Friday, September 16, 2022: 87,604
Saturday, September 17: 114,263
Sunday, September 18: 84,981
Monday, September 19: 28,874
Tuesday, September 20: 49,416
Wednesday, September 21: 67,855
Thursday, September 23: 34,678
Friday, September 23: 96,587
Saturday, September 24: 177,789 (an all-time highest single day attendance on record.)
Sunday, September 25: 131,425
Monday, September 26:
Tuesday, September 27:
Wednesday, September 28:
Thursday, September 29:
Friday, September 30:
Saturday, October 1:
Sunday, October 2:
Are you attending The Big E this year? Email 22News your photos at ReportIt@wwlp.com.