Every year, West Springfield becomes the home of the Eastern States Exposition or the Big E as the participants fondly name it.
The sixth-largest agricultural fair in the country brings together farmers, manufacturers and food industry producers from each of the big six New England States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The event attracts more than 1,500,000 participants every year and hosts a wide range of events, workshops, competitions, and entertainment shows. If you are traveling through Massachusetts this autumn, you must not miss a visit to the Eastern States Exposition where you can get a real taste of the local culture and enjoy some high-quality family time.
Here are five of the best reasons to attend the Big E this year!
The Avenue of States
One of the attractions that have put the Eastern States Exposition on the map of major national events is the Avenue of States. This part of the fair is a display of the life-size replicas of the six original statehouses from New England.
Here, visitors can step into authentic displays of the specific culture of each of the New England states. You can shop for local products, foods and talk to vendors and merchants from original farms of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, and so on.
The Live Animals Exhibitions
Since its inauguration in 1917, the Big E has hosted exhibitors of livestock from every corner of New England. Farmers rejoice at the opportunity to display the most fabulous live animals that they breed and care for back home.
If you are visiting the Eastern States Exposition, you must not miss this part of the fair. The kids will get a unique chance to moon over more than 1,100 exhibits of various farm animals including sheep, pigs, goats, and chickens. Also, they can attend one of the exciting horse shows that take place every day.
The Food Market
Another great reason for attending the Big E is the food that you can eat there. Thousands of food producers from all over New England come to West Springfield to showcase their latest products and fresh meals from recipes that have been passed down over entire generations.
The food market at the Eastern States Exposition has something for everyone. You can have your pick from traditional American meaty dishes, vegetarian meals or the famous Big E Cream Puffs.
The Eastern States Exposition also features a large venue for live concerts called the Xfinity Arena. Here, you can attend the entertaining shows of famous local musicians, as long as you can get one of the 6,000 seats available in the arena, and which fill up according to the first-arrived, first-served rule.
The Big 5K Road Race
If you want to burn some of the extra calories that you ingested at the food market, you can take part in the Big 5K Road Race. This Big E event aims to raise awareness of the benefits of agriculture and environment issues. Participants can either run or walk for the whole distance of the race, and then take part in a post-race party.