Record attendance at this year's Big E meant an increase in …
Record attendance at this year's Big E meant an increase in …
New England's Great State Fair is wrapping up.
New England's Great State Fair wraps up this Sunday and Mass …
From tumbling to balancing, gymnastics and more, the Peking …
Mass Appeal host Ashley Kohl is live at The Big E today from 11…
Updated: Thursday, 13 Sep 2012, 3:55 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 13 Sep 2012, 3:55 PM EDT
WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The 2012 Big E is proud to host a diverse line-up of talent this year, including Jeff Dunham, Alan Jackson, and Billy Currington. New England’s largest fair will also present two weekday Mardi Gras Parades, sponsored by Mohegan Sun, The Big E Super Circus, sponsored by Coca-Cola, along with adrenaline pumping rides, crafts, mouth-watering foods, animals and the best of New England that fairgoers have come to expect. The Big E, located in West Springfield, Mass., takes place Sept. 14 – Sept. 30.
The Fair opens Friday, Sept. 14 with Be A Kid For A Day – all ages pay the children’s price of $10 – and Military Appreciation Day, honoring the men and women of the armed services – free admission for military personnel and dependents with ID, as well as veterans with ID (copy of DD-214 or proof of membership to any veterans' organization).
BIG NAMES IN ENTERTAINMENT COME TO THE FAIR
Appearing on The Comcast Arena Stage:
Purchase a premium reserved seat at free concerts for $25. All tickets are sold online at Ticketmaster.com, TheBigE.com or Charge By Phone – 800-745-3000. If purchased prior to show date, tickets include admission to the Fair.
Appearing on the Court of Honor Stage, sponsored by Comcast:
A TRIP TO THE CIRCUS!
Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and Girls! Come to The Big E Super Circus, sponsored by Coca-Cola under the Big Top! With shows daily at 1, 4 and 7 p.m., this free, one-ring, European-style circus is unique to the Fair and is sure to keep fans of all ages on the edge of their seats. You won’t believe your eyes as Ty McFarlan takes control of center ring. Back by popular demand, circus comedian Mark Gindick reprises the lovable character, “Grandma.” Duo A & A will perform hand balancing stunts that will blow your mind. Audiences are sure to be amazed by the acrobatics of The Marinoffs. Oh, and don’t forget our animal friends participating in all of the action! David Rosaire’s Perky Pekes are sure to amaze audiences. Dany Daniels & Edina grace the Big E Super Circus ring for the first time ever, and the Big E Thrill Riders defy the laws of gravity challenging the giant “Sphere of Fear.”
Fairgoers can also enjoy the Circus Museum, located in the Hampden County Building, featuring miniature scale recreations of circus wagons, carousels, acrobats, and even a hand carved replica of the 1946 Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus tent show. The New England Band Organ, inside Gate 4, is a distinctive favorite among fairgoers of all ages. Take home the music of this spectacular instrument on CD volumes I, II and III. A Christmas CD is also available for those fairgoers wanting an early taste of the holiday spirit!
Walking in a Winter Wonderland, sponsored by Uncommon USA
A greeting card come to life, complete with snow, created exclusively for The Big E. It’s the inaugural unveiling of Walking in a Winter Wonderland created by J3T•SET design group, a 3,700 square-foot, snowy forest with enchanted holiday scenes around every bend. The Vintage Glamour is reminiscent of old Hollywood juxtaposed with Victorian Romance. Cross the bridge and stop to watch the “ice skaters” at Evergreen Pond. Feel the warmth and comfort of Classic Traditions. Fairgoers can have their picture taken in front of the snowy forest, and bring home the scent of the holidays with a Kringle Candle. This exhibit is located in The Young Building.
The Big Easy Meets The Big E
Fat Tuesday comes to life with music, lights, and beads
galore at The Big E’s signature Mardi Gras Parade, sponsored by Mohegan Sun, Mon. – Fri. at 1 and 8 p.m. The Daily Parade’s marching units, animals and bands step off at 5 p.m. and all the action comes together on weekends with the Grande Mardi Gras Parade at 5 p.m.! Want to take part in the festivities? Be a costumed reveler and toss beads to fairgoers on the parade route for just $10! More info at TheBigE.com.
SAVOR THE FLAVOR
Made right before your eyes, Big E Cream Puffs and the popular Big Éclair are delicious and sure to satisfy even the most intense sweet tooth. The Cream Puff Bakery, located in the New England Center and at the Food Court, is where you’ll find these scrumptious treats.
Don’t forget about The Big E Craz-E Burger located at The Big EZ Café on New England Avenue. The bacon cheeseburger is placed between two halves of a grilled glazed donut… the classic flavor combination of sweet and salty in a unique form. Introduced in 2009, it was a big hit, but wait, there’s more…
NEW food items this year include:
Sweet and Savory Crepes, Croissants and Assorted French Pastries– Indulge in a crepe stuffed with sweet cream, strawberries and chocolate, or fill your crepe with turkey and ham, or sink your teeth into buttery croissants at La Petite France Bakery in the Young Building.
Deep Fried Samoas –Try a deep fried Girl Scout cookie…all gooey chocolate and coconut. At The Coffee Break in the Food Court.
Pulled Pork and Chocolate Covered Bacon – Send your taste buds on a ride at The Ultimate BBQ in the Food Court.
CELEBRATE THE 250TH BIRTHDAY OF THE SANDWICH
It was a mere 250 years ago that the Earl of Sandwich requested that his lunch be placed between two slices of bread so that he could continue playing cards without stopping for a meal. Today, the sandwich is America’s lunchtime fare of choice. Join us as we celebrate its 250th birthday with 250 sandwiches at this year’s Big E!
Purchase $10 worth of food coupons for only $8. “Food Funds” (Advanced Discount Food Vouchers) are available at TheBigE.com and The Big E Box Office through Sept. 12. Coupons are good at all Big E food concessions including Storrowton Tavern. They are not valid for the purchase of alcoholic beverages or for use in the Avenue of States buildings.
Also be sure to try the Fried Shepherd’s Pie, Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich, Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich, Fried Snickers, Fried Kool-Aid, Fried Jelly Beans, Fried Whoopie Pies, Fried Almond Joy, Fried Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bits and Frozen Hot Chocolate! Not to mention the Hot Diggid-E and New England Dogs!
Take a break from the Fair action. For a memorable sit-down meal, with fine wine, dine at historic Storrowton Tavern. Or take a trip to the past at Heroes and Legends, a 50s-themed diner in the Young Building. Later, grab a taste of Italy in the Italian Pavilion near the Flag Plaza, and while you’re there, try one of our delicious special martinis created using V-One Vodka at The Big E Martini Bar.
In honor of the 250th birthday of the sandwich, The Big E will be hosting the Fleischmann’s Yeast “Sensational Sandwich Bread” Contest! Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. Other contests to be held in the New England Center are Cake Decorating Contest, Sept. 18, and Domino Sugar Cupcake Contest, being held Sept. 28. Entry info is available at TheBigE.com.
The Big E’s roots are in agriculture and that tradition continues today with competitions for prize-winning animals from across the country in the largest livestock show in the East.
For those who have not had the experience of farm life, or those who can’t get enough of the outdoors, The Big E offers a wide variety of exhibits and shows from milking cows to giant pumpkins. In the Mallary Complex, fairgoers can observe cows, sheep, goats and llamas as well as demonstrations of spinning and weaving. In Farm-A-Rama, look for pigs, the famous chick hatching exhibit, Hallamore Clydesdales and FFA exhibits. People will also have the opportunity to view giant pumpkins and squash, some weighing more than 1,000 pounds.
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle, visit the Wine and Cheese Shoppe at Mallary Gardens sponsored by Keep Local Farms outside the Mallary Complex. Inside the mini-barn, compliments of The Barnyard, winning cheeses from The Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition and Massachusetts wines from The Big E Northeast Gold Medal Wine Competition are sampled and sold, and winners from other states are also displayed. Outside the shops, relax in the garden which features lush flowers and landscaping.
Watch sculptor Jim Victor create an original piece of art from more than 600 pounds of butter donated by Agrimark/Cabot Creamery in our specially designed cooler. Stop by and watch this year’s theme “Cash Cow” develop over the first 12 days of the Fair.
A trip to The Big E would not be complete without witnessing some of the traditions that have been a part of the Fair for
many years such as the Eastern States Exposition Horse Show, sponsored by Williams Distributing. This show is a top rated show which features Hunters & Jumpers, Hunt Seat Equitation, and USHJA Zone 1 Championship Sept 12-16; Saddlebreds, Hackneys, Morgans, and Friesians, Sept. 20-23; The Big E Draft Horse Show, with The Big E $30,000 Six-Horse Hitch Showdown, Sept. 27-30; and the 4-H Horse Show, Sept. 20-22.
Fairgoers can also enjoy exhibits of animal power with competitions in Horse Pulling, Sept. 17, and Ox Pulling, Sept. 18, as well as the Sheepdog Trials, which run Sept. 24 and 25 at 10 a.m. in the Coliseum.
GET YOUR ENGINES READY
Car enthusiasts will certainly get their fix during the course of The Big E. Be sure to visit one, if not all of the displays that highlight different types of cars and trucks on the Avenue of States. The Antique Car display, Sept. 15 and 23; an Antique Truck exhibit, Sept. 20; and “Cruisin’ New England” with Paul Mennett, Sept 16, 22 and 30, featuring the Circle of Champions Hot Rod Exhibit Sept. 30.
The Exposition’s annual Creative Arts contests located in the New England Center are sure to inspire. Competitions include Fiber Arts and Photography, with entries and winners on display throughout the Fair. Come check out this year’s displays of sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, beading, decorative painting on fabric, hand weaving and other needlework.
TAKE A TRIP TO THE PAST
Storrowton Village Museum is an authentic reconstructed 19th century New England village arranged around a classic Village green. Special activities planned on the green for the Fair include 19th century craft demonstrations, children’s games and tours of its historic buildings.
TAKE A WALK THROUGH NEW ENGLAND
The Avenue of States is a broad boulevard featuring majestic replicas of each New England state capitol with local foods, products, crafts and vacation information within.
SHOP ’TIL YOU DROP
The Big E offers an extraordinary shopping experience. Start your journey off in the Better Living Center, which is full of all the latest in gadgets, cookware, electronics, jewelry, clothing and specialty foods. Hampden Avenue and Craft Common offer a plethora of creative handmade crafts and “one-of-a-kind” collective items. Bring home a memory of the Fair, or surprise a friend with a unique gift. Just around the corner, the Irish Exhibit in the Young Building will offer the best that Ireland has to offer from authentic Irish linens, crystal and jewelry to music and art. Don’t forget to stop at the Guinness Irish Pub for a true taste of the Emerald Isle. If Ireland doesn’t strike your fancy, then continue your tour in the International Plaza, and shop for products and specialty items from around the world. Don’t miss the Storrowton Village Gift Shop for collectibles, the Christmas Shop in Potter Mansion and the Yankee Candle Shop in the Grange Building. Looking for something a bit larger? We have spas, gazebos and items large and small, you can even purchase a Chevrolet car or truck!
BUT WE’RE NOT DONE…
Daily fairtime favorites include: a ride down the McDonald’s Giant Slide; a visit with the Budweiser Clydesdales near the Giant Slide, Commerford’s Petting Zoo, sponsored by Rondeau Ice and Dairy Bar at Gates 4 & 7, walk-around attraction Randy Burns, the Mechanical Man, and don’t forget to spot BiggiE, the Fair’s mascot leading the Daily Parade at 5 p.m. and in the Court of Honor throughout the day.
BUY ADVANCE DISCOUNT TICKETS & SAVE!
Advance discount tickets and Midway Magic vouchers are sold at TheBigE.com, The Big E Box Office now – Sept. 12 and Big Y® World Class Markets® Aug. 23 - Sept. 12.
Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 6-12. Advance Midway Magic Passes are $20, valid for unlimited rides any one day Mon.–Fri. or exchange for 24 ride coupons Sat. & Sun.
REGULAR GATE ADMISSION
Adults $15/Children ages 6-12 $10; Children five and under are free.
Midway Magic Passes are $25, valid any one day Mon. – Fri.
Tickets and passes sold online at TheBigE.com and Big Y® World Class Markets®, Sept. 13–30.
17-Day Value Passes are $40 for adults and $20 for children ages 6-12 and are sold online now – Sept. 30 and at Big Y® World Class Markets® Aug 23- Sept. 30.
Opening Day Discounts – Sept. 14
Be A Kid For A Day – all ages pay the children’s price of $10 (available online through 9/12)
Military Appreciation Day – free admission for military personnel and dependents and
veterans with ID (copy of DD-214 or proof of membership to any veterans' organization).
Gate Discounts – Mon. – Thurs, at the gate only.
TRAVEL BY BUS TO THE BIG E
The Big E has partnered with King Ward Coach Lines to provide bus service to the Fair weekends from West Springfield hotels and from the Holyoke Mall.
Big E hours are 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Buildings and exhibits open at
10 a.m. Storrowton Village and the Yankee Candle Shop are open until 9 p.m. The Village Craft Area is open until 10 p.m. The North American Midway is open Sun. – Fri., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Avenue of States hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
For tickets, show times and detailed information, visit TheBigE.com. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheBigE and follow us at Twitter.com/The_Big_E.