WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It was New Hampshire Day at The Big E on Friday, and visitors indulged in homemade maple syrup, fudge, blueberry pie, and craft beers while learning about the state’s history and agriculture.
Temperatures were in the low to mid-70s. Humidity dropped as the day goes on. Some spotty showers were expected throughout the rest of the afternoon and early evening.
Friday’s early rain didn’t stop the crowds from coming to the Big E but the rain did increase the number of people trying to stay dry inside the buildings along the avenue of states. Many stopped by the New Hampshire building to learn more about the products and services of the Granite State. Rainy days always mean more visitors to buy New Hampshire’s signature maple syrup.
“It does everything for business, it’s been great so far. It’s not the same when it’s raining out there. There’s a lot of people going through here,” said Barbara Gehres from S. Bennett Maple Syrup.
The extra time visitors spent inside staying dry allowed them to become better acquainted with the state buildings, and make a few purchases.
“Oh it really, absolutely is. You get out of the rain, you come inside, the shops, the people, the atmosphere, you can’t beat it,” said Lisa Richter from Groton, Connecticut.
The New Hampshire Building was established in the 1930s at a cost of $75,000 using New Hampshire granite for its columns and trim and features a curved porch and tall columns similar in style to the White House. It features local products and services from agricultural businesses, non-profits, and other organizations that show the history of the Granite State.
Inside the New Hampshire Building, you will find the tourism office, wood and decoy carving, cheese carving, spinning and weaving, stenciling, basket making, and more. For a full list of vendors visit thebige.com.
It is required for visitors to wear a mask inside the state buildings, all craft buildings, and the Mallary Complex.
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When is my state/town day at The Big E?
Each day at the Big E honors something specific. For example, Friday is Military Appreciation Day at the Big E. Veterans, active-duty military, and their dependents all get in free. Here are all the special and state days this year:
- Friday, September 24 – New Hampshire Day
- Saturday, September 25 – Vermont Day
- Sunday, September 26 – Grange Day
- Monday, September 27 – Salute to Springfield
- Tuesday, September 28 – Salute to Chicopee, sponsored by Westfield Bank
- Wednesday, September 29 – Salute to Agawam
- Thursday, September 30 – Salute to Westfield, sponsored by Westfield Bank
- Friday, October 1 – Harvest New England Day
- Saturday, October 2 – October Fun Day
- Sunday, October 3 – Salute to Special Olympics
Live Music at The Big E
There will be 80-plus live bands throughout the 17 day fair, starting with Machine Gun Kelly to kick things off with a sold-out concert at the Big E Arena at 7:30 p.m. Here is the full list of live music this year:
The Big E Arena, all shows take place at 7:30 p.m. and Doors open at 5:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted:
- Sept. 25: Flo Rida with Ying Yang Twins
- Sept. 26: Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo (doors open at 6pm)
- Oct. 1: Goo Goo Dolls
- Oct. 2: A Day to Remember with Asking Alexandria & Point North (7pm showtime)
- Oct. 3: Styx
Court of Honor Stage, all concerts are free with fair admission:
- Sept. 17-26: Tom Franek, 11am, 1 & 6pm
- Sept. 24-26: The Bar-Kays, 3pm
- Sept. 25: Plain White T’s, 8pm
- Sept. 26: Don McLean, 8pm
- Sept. 27-28: The Outlaws, 8pm
- Sept. 27-Oct. 3: The Everly Set, 11am, 1 & 6pm
- Sept. 29-30: Big Brother and the Holding Company, 3pm
- Sept. 29: Lisa Lisa, 8pm
- Sept. 30: Ripe, 8pm
- Oct. 1: Kashmir: The Live Led Zeppelin Show, 8pm
- Oct. 1-3: Tribute to The King performed by Taylor Rodriguez, 3pm
- Oct. 2: Hoobastank, 8pm
- Oct. 3: Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of RUN DMC, 8pm
The E Stage:
Showtimes are: Monday – Thursday from 4:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Friday & Saturday from 3, 6 & 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 3 & 6 p.m.
- Choco Band, Sept. 24
- Amber Eyes, Oct. 1
- Otan Vargas with special guest Ted Lewis (10/2)
Parking and shuttles available at The Big E
During the next 17 days, The Big E will attract visitors from all over the Northeast and it gets busy in the area.
The Big E has parking at Gate 9, that’s at the intersection of Memorial Avenue and Circuit Avenue. Just a heads up, parking there is cash only. Give yourself some extra time if you’re driving to the fair. Thousands of cars come to West Springfield during the fair.
The fair is encouraging people to use the King Gray shuttles to get to the Big E. On Saturdays and Sundays, a free shuttle is offered from Union Station in Springfield. It departs from Gate 24 at Union Station.
There is also a shuttle from Enfield Square Mall that also operates on weekends. It costs $5 to ride the shuttle. Buses there leave every 30 minutes beginning at 9:00 a.m. the morning from the former Macy’s department store.
If you do plan to shuttle over, you will need to wear a mask on that shuttle.The Big E 2021
Tickets can be purchased at the gates, or can be purchased online at thebige.com – In addition to single-day tickets, the Big E is also offering a 17-day value pass, which is valid for entry throughout the fair. Tickets for concerts at the Big E Arena are not included in the price of admission, and must be purchased separately.
The gates at the Big E open at 8 A.M. every day. Buildings, exhibits, and the Craft Common open up at 10 A.M. The Midway is open Sunday through Thursday 11 A.M. to 10 P.M., and on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 A.M. to 11 P.M.
West Springfield Mask mandate
Remember to bring a mask with you to The Big E this year. You’ll need it to get inside buildings on the fairgrounds. The West Springfield Board of Health voted Wednesday to mandate wearing a mask when inside public and private buildings where people are allowed inside.
For The Big E fairgrounds, it is required to wear a mask inside the state buildings, all craft buildings and the Mallary Complex. You do not need to wear a mask when inside a tent or barn. According to Eastern States Exposition President Gene Cassidy, indoors counts as any building with four solid walls.
The fair runs through October 3rd.