WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The Great New England State Fair is underway at the Big E in West Springfield, and its opening day is dedicated to those who serve our country.
Friday is Military Appreciation Day at the Big E, which is sponsored by the VA New England Healthcare System .
"We say ‘thank you' to all of our armed forces and veterans who protect our freedom over the years," said Big E Director of Marketing Noreen Tassinari. "Veterans are admitted free, and active military personnel and their dependents are admitted free as well."
John Paradis of the VA told 22News that they are happy to be part of the Big E.
"We're proud once again to partner with the Eastern States Exposition to have this day for our veterans, to enjoy what it's like to be in New England. And we're here in full force to provide benefits, programs, services," he said.
1.2 million people are expected to make their way around the Eastern States Exposition grounds over the next 17 days. The annual western Mass. tradition all started back in 1917 to showcase New England's agriculture.
It has since grown into one of the top 10 largest fairs in North America, thanks to the food, fun, and entertainment it offers.