The ‘Big E’ is New England’s answer to the question, “What is happening in the farm and agricultural world in Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts?” The exposition has promoted farming and agricultural competitions, technology and everything related since 1917.
This year’s event starts Friday, September 13 and runs until Sunday, September 29th. Over a million and a quarter people attend this ‘increasingly popular’ fair each year in West Springfield, MA.
With cool weather to start this year’s event, a record-setting crowd gathers daily to witness the fair’s most popular traditions, including horse shows, livestock displays, petting zoos and concerts featuring country and popular artists.
The Big E is my favorite fair in the country. It is a yearly ‘Must Attend’ event. I return year after year and have attended since 1982, the year I moved to the Berkshires from Nuremberg, Germany, where I was a journalism and photography teacher at Nuremberg American High School. My married kids fly and drive in from Minneapolis and from Brooklyn to attend the Big E.
It is in their genes.
This year’s exposition of the nation’s 9th largest fair is hard to sum up. There is so much to do. The common denominator beyond the farming and agricultural aspect is food and music. The outdoor stage venue holds nearly 7,000 people.
This years’ highlights include:
September 14th (7:30pm) Don Felder presents “An Evening At The Hotel California” (free)
September 15th (7:30pm) Tommy James & The Shondells (free)
September 20th Hunter Hayes 7pm (tickets $29-$39)
September 27th (7:30pm) Kix Brooks (free)
September 28th Austin Mahone (free)
September 29th The Beach Boys (free)
If you are into food and crazy items, a few stand out in 2013.
The Big E-Z Café features “Craz-E Burgers.” What is a Craz-E Burger? It is a breakfast sandwich made up of egg and bacon on a grilled glazed donut.
The food court features ‘Three Pigs In A Bun.” This version includes a large bun filled with pulled pork, bacon and pork sausage. And why not try the Chocolate-Dipped Bacon’ for dessert?
Gates open at 8 a.m daily.
The midway is open from 11 a.m to 10 p.m Sunday through Friday.
Saturday the midway is open from 10 a.m to 11 p.m.